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