Over to Auchroisk distillery in Keith for another of SMWS’s always interesting ‘not a sherry cask’ Deep, Rich and Dried Fruits offerings. This one was matured in an ex-bourbon hogshead for nine years and then re-racked into a 1st fill re-charred barrique until being bottled as an 11 year old.
Nose: Grilled orange segments and roasted apples are joined by bread and butter pudding and American-style pancakes served with grape jelly. A meaty quality lurks beneath the surface – Sunday roast served with spring green leaves and a rich wine reduction. Spicing is aromatic and rather exotic – Chinese five spice over egg noodles together with a ginger-infused martini. Dilution reveals sponge cake and flamed orange peels together with notes of golden tobacco and apple turnovers.
Taste: A meaty, almost steak-like arrival of fried pancetta served with roasted pineapples, fig rolls and juicy pressed black grapes. Burnt toffee and charred barrel staves sits with overdone honeycomb, whilst Black Jack chews introduce anise spicing. Water amps up the cask char, whilst also brightening the fruit complement – pineapple cubes and orange zest together with stem ginger and Crunchie bars.
Finish: Fairly long with caramelised sugars, charred oak and a dusting of ginger powder.
This Auchroisk offers plenty of reduced natural sugars – it also delivers ample Cooper-induced barrel char and oak spicing from its additional maturation in a re-charred barrique – both of which pleasantly offset the more saccharine aspects of this whisky. Nicely composed and nicely balanced.