Nose: Sunflowers and rose hips sit with freshly pressed cotton sheets and doughy white bread. Crème caramel and Milky Bars are joined by clay and putty – not quite alluvial, but somewhat muddy nevertheless. Running throughout, typical ex-bourbon notes of vanilla and buttery cream. The addition of water expressed sun-dried crusty earth alongside pronounced clove spicing.
Taste: Despite the high ABV this has a surprisingly gentle delivery and development. Burnt toffee and charred cask ends are joined by an abundance of herbs and spices – pepper cloves, allspice – with mustard seeds, reeds, flax and mint leafiness. Water retains the overall shape of the whisky, but adds additional cask influence with split vanilla pods and breakfast oats alongside the spices and herbs.
Finish: Medium and with an unexpected wave of mentholated oakiness.
Well-named Auchroisk – this is indeed quite herbal. The composition is straight-forward and easy-drinking (despite the fulsome ABV) and whilst there not quite enough to truly get lost in, the strange and somewhat unfamiliar metholated finish is certainly both notable and sinus cleaning.
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