Oct 112013
 

Auchentoshan Three WoodThree Wood

43% abv

Score:  83.5/100

 

I went into this one with a ‘holy hell, what have we here?’ kinda attitude.  The nose was rich and uber-sweet.  Almost the same kinda tooth-rotting olfactory gleeful anticipation I get each time I stick my beak deep into a glass of bourbon. 

Unfortunately, much like I am let down by most bourbons (sorry, bourbon-lovers…just not my preferred profile), first sips of this one were an immediate grounding.  All the sparkle and shine of atmospheric promise hinted at on the nose fizzled into undeveloped potential.  I can imagine this whisky at 20-25 years of age would be an absolute show-stopper.  As it is in the here-and-now…passing grades, for sure, but at the end of the day…its a middling malt. 

It’s a clean drink, as you’d expect from Auchentoshan  This Lowland distillery is generally reknowned for its use of triple distillation, which results in a light and floral profile.  The sherry here in the Three Wood adds a little more depth of dimension, and slightly tames the almost typically 0ver-light bouyancy so prevalent in most ‘Toshans.  I kinda like that to be honest.  The heft is a good thing.  Of the more ‘entry level’ Auchentoshan range, this is second only to the Valinch.

Call me a cynic, though if you must, but I kinda think there may be a little bit of cosmetic work at play here by the lovely purple tint of very sweet sherry.  It’s amazing what you can enhance when working with good Oloroso and/or PX.  This is just a theory however.  Either way…not a bad dram from Glasgow’s distillery.

Nose:  There’s a lovely sweet cherry top note.  Followed by a lot of spice and some vanilla.  Quite bourbon-ish, in its own way.  Juicy orange.  Think along the lines of vanilla cola meets cherry cola.  Cinnamon hearts.  A little fudge.  Clean and fruity as hell.  Very unexpected nose.

Palate:  Woah!  Not even close to as good as the nose hints at.  Immediately tannic.  Into green grass notes.  Still a lot of sherry here.  Almond/amaretto.  Burnt sugar makes it a little…puckering.   Loses a mark or two based on the attack. 

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Auchentoshan

 Posted by at 1:41 pm
Jul 292012
 

Auchentoshan Valinch 2011

57.5% abv

Score:  88/100

 

Whisky…meet creamsicle.  Creamsicle…whisky.  Now that introductions are out of the way, I know you will two will get on fabulously.

I love it when I come into something with high expectations and am not let down.  Early indicators were that this was quite a showstopper of a young Lowland, and I am pleased to say that we were not mislead.

Industry folk…take heed.  This expression is the direct result of Auchentoshan responding to the consumer cry for unadulterated purity in whisky.  The distillery listened and gave us what we wanted.  The good publicity they are reaping, I hope, more than offsets any concerns that may have had them hedging.  Not only are we happy to be ackowledged, but we’re tickled f*cking pink to have been delivered a dram of this quality.

The nose…

Creamy vanilla ice cream, orange and tangerine.  Think creamsicle, as I alluded to in the first lines above.  This is like a creamy dessert malt if ever I met one.  Very, very fresh mouthwatering fruit.  Smooth, sweet almond notes provide a subtle icing over the oak base.  Man…I would never…ever…peg this as an Auchentoshan.  Beautiful composition and obviously stellar cask policy.  I think all reviews I’ve read referred to that orange/tangerine combo, and sure ‘nough…both I and the Maltmonster found those notes screaming from the rooftops on first meet as well.

The palate brings sweet orange fruit candy and pears in syrup.  Vanilla is right up front, but in a subtle sashaying way…none too in your face.  It is slightly jammy as well.  Still young and lovely for it.

I’m a fan.  And the most pleasant surprise of all?  The wee l’il price tag attached.  Brilliant.  Thanks, Auchentoshan…you’ve made a believer.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 11:36 am
Mar 162011
 

AUCHENTOSHAN…………IRISH?  YES!!!!!!!

Breaking news today from a Hollywood insider that Michael Moore may be buying the screen rights to a story on the Irish claim to Auchentoshan.  This unnamed Hollywood insider is quoted as saying “this is a story that will rock the very foundations of the Scottish Whisky Association”.

It’s been long suspected that Auchentoshan and surrounding area were part of Ireland and, in fact, still are.  It’s also been said that the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) has had a history of bullying, suppression, possible buggery and much more (Glen Breton as example).  Other non-credible unnamed sources have clearly stated that Dan Brown may be considering writing this sure-to-be-best-selling novel.

To back up the Irish claim to the distillery, the following are the facts and they are undisputed:

1)      500 AD  Irish Missionaries return from the Mediterranean region with the knowledge of distillation.

2)      590-600 AD  An Irish monk named Mirren, now referred to as Saint Mirren, founded a religious order on the future site of Paisley Abbey very near Auchentoshan.  His mission was to save and educate the Scottish heathens in the ways of life and double distillation.

3)      1245 AD  The Irish Priory on the site of an old Celtic church founded by Saint Mirren was upgraded to an Abbey, which it remains to this day, the Paisley Abbey.

4)      1516 AD  Paisley Abbey, to increase revenues, allows the land where Auchentoshan stands today to be used for unlicensed double distilling.  The Irish still retain the secret of triple distillation.

5)      March 17, 1817 AD  John Bullock & Co. takes control of the land and in 1823 builds a licensed distillery named Duntocher.  Duntocher translated (Dun / Tair) from Irish Gaeilge to English means closed fort of the wretched, or prison.  Convicted Irish Criminals, called Cons, were conscripted from a town named Leap in County Cork.  These short-statured people were referred to as ‘the Cons from Leap’, or simply as ‘Leaprecons’.   These Leaprecons, with exceptional long life spans (due to drinking triple distilled whisky) and knowledge of the secret art of triple distillation, were forced to work in the production of whisky.

6)      1830 AD  A group of Scottish distillers form with a mandate to; control whisky production, learn the secret art of triple distillation and move the Irish out.  This group would later be called SWA.  This dark period in time is called the ‘Great Purge’.

7)      Friday June 13, 1834 AD  John Bullock & Co., under great pressure from the SWA, was forced to dispose of the Duntocher Distillery to Alexander Filshie, a member of the SWA.  The Irish prisoners are dealt with and the Distillery is quickly renamed Auchentoshan.  Auchentoshan translated (Acht / Tost / Am) from Irish Gaeilge to English means ‘the act of silence over time’.  Most Leaprecons buried their valuables and fled for their lives.  Rumors say that what few Leaprecons survived the time of the great purge ended up in Campbeltown, captured and forced by the locals to apply their secret art of triple distillation at Springbank.

8)      1940 AD  A team of archeologists digging in the corner of the field at Auchentoshan uncover metal pots containing very valuable items, some say treasure.  Before the removal process could begin the site was supposedly bombed by the German Luftwaffe.  No witnesses can testify to this event, other than hearing loud explosions at night and seeing what could have been SWA employees leaving town.  The site of this archeological dig is now under water and serves as the cooling plant for the Distillery.

9)      2008 AD  The distillery sold a three sided water container with the word ‘distillation’ on all three sides misspelled with the word ‘distellation’.  As we all know, Latin was the preferred language of the Irish monks, and ‘distell’ in Latin means to tell god.  We understand the author of the misspelled word may work at the Abbey and may be trying to right the injustice done to the Leaprecons and bring to light the possible bad deeds of the SWA.

As a testament to the fallen Leaprecons, we honor them on Saint Patrick’s Day with a tasting of four different expressions of (Irish) Auchentoshan.

A couple o' fine ol' Auchentoshans

AUCHENTOSHAN 1957

50 YEAR OLD APRIL 15, 1957 – JULY 17, 2007 49.1 % ABV BOTTLE # 45 OF 144

132 GALLONS OF NEW SPIRIT FILLED AT 68 % ABV IN AN OLOROSO CASK #480 AND MATURED IN WAREHOUSE NUMBER THREE (thank you to Andrew Ferguson at KWM for the wee sample)

NOSE:  Floral.   Marzipan, slight hint of cheese and raisins.

TASTE:  Chewy butterscotch, oranges and pecans.

FINISH:  Medium.  Tart and lingering.

ASSESSMENT:  Its ok…but for fifty it’s just not nifty.  Sure the old who are not strong do not whither, but they don’t taste any better.

AUCHENTOSHAN 1957

50 YEAR OLD APRIL 15, 1957 – DECEMBER 12, 2007 46.8 % ABV BOTTLE # 157 OF 171

132 GALLONS OF NEW SPIRIT FILLED AT 68 % ABV IN AN OLOROSO CASK #479 AND MATURED IN WAREHOUSE NUMBER THREE (thank you to Andrew Ferguson at KWM for the ample sample)

NOSE:  Toffee and eucalyptus are battling it out at the start, giving way to cherries and some ripe oranges.

TASTE:  Little tart at the beginning then it totally transforms to creamy butterscotch.  WOW!  Chocolate, melons, citrus fruits and a little black liquorice.

FINISH:  long and warming at the end.

ASSESSMENT:  Much lighter in color than cask # 480 .Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods thyself, (Thanks Milton) it’s that good

Auchentoshan 1976

AUCHENTOSHAN 1976

28 YEAR OLD HOGSHEAD CASK # 1115 47.5 % ABV BOTTLE # 143 OF 156 CSN CALGARY EXCLUSIVE.

NOSE:  Toffee, honeydew melon, cherries and menthol.

TASTE:  Butterscotch overload.  Chocolate and marmalade jam.

FINISH:  Medium to long.

ASSESSMENT:  What an outstanding cask. The light triple distilled spirits pick up almost a sherry type influence from the wood interaction. Was told back in 2006 that they only purchased half the cask. Hard to believe they still have some bottles left in 2011.

Auchentoshan 1978

AUCHENTOSHAN 1978

30 YEAR OLD BOURBON CASK MATURED / NORTH AMERICAN OAK 53.4 % ABV BOTTLE # 320 OF 480

NOSE:  Kentucky bourbon sweet.  Bit of varnish, cherries and oranges.

TASTE:  Spice, almonds and oily buttery notes at the back end.

FINISH:  Medium.  Drying.

ASSESSMENT:  This really has a new bourbon favor to it.  Let the Bourbon take hold and find yourself floating like a leaf down the Cahulawassee River whilst the genetically compromised hill people gently serenade you with Banjo music from the surrounding hills.

REPARATION

What does the world want as reparation?  Well…first they want the Scottish Whisky Association to formally thank the Irish for sharing and teaching them the art of distillation.  Second…they want a formal apology to Glen Breton for taking them to court and wasting their valuable time and money.  Lastly…we would have the use of the Diageo (Head of the SWA) corporate jet for a week to allow the ATW Associates & Friends to visit Scotland and pay homage to the fallen Leaprecons.

 

CREDO ELVEM ETIAM VIVERE – THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

 

          – Maltmonster

 Posted by at 7:23 pm