Archive for the ‘Auchtentoshan’ Category

Lady of the Glen Auchentoshan 1995 (20 year old) 54.3%

Refill Sherry Barrel 654/ Dist: Dec 1995 Btl: May 2016/ Tasted: Sept 2016

Nose: Fragrant, summer barley with a touch of dried grass. It has a very noticeable alcohol prickle but the late arrival of white fruits, honey, dunnage and vanilla oak add balance. Water makes it feel older.

Palate: Soft and full with a lovely barley sheen and mouth-watering citrus notes. Hints of rose oil, herbs, vanilla and spice come through on the middle. Water emphasises the oils and brings out an unfortunate old cardboard note.

Finish: Neat it is a little short and mouth-watering. Diluted it’s more succulent with dusty cereal husks.

Conclusion: I think this has been bottled just in the nick of time.


Highland Laird Auchentoshan 1992 (21 year old) 52.1%

Refill Sherry Butt(?)/ Dist: 1992 Btl: 2013(?)/ Tasted: June 2016

The nose opens with a balsamic character, but it’s not overly dark and quite fresh, which leads me to believe that it’s been aged in a refill Butt. Hints of pruney dried fruit, raisin and green nuts along with a light rose petal note. Pleasantly mature with late olives, citrus and warm spice.

The palate is quite malty with oat cakes and creal, followed by light treacle, rose petals and fresh citrus. Like the nose it is showing a good maturity and subtle sherry character. A touch of liquorice, olives and spice comes through on the middle. Good length, if a little drying with walnut shell, dry spice and lingering dried prunes and dark chocolate.

Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask Auchentoshan 1991 (24 year old) 50.9%

Sherry Hogshead/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Initially the aromas are quite grain-like with plenty of rummy, dried fruit, followed by hints of greengage, gooseberry, rhubarb and mulched rose petals. Beautifully balanced and mature with a very subtle sherry sweetness.

The palate is again quite grainy with a touch more sherry character. Quite spicy with sweet grapy notes and a thread of citrus. Soft rum-like dried fruit and spice come through on the middle along with a little wood tannin, but the citrus and alcohol combines to keep it vibrant. Long and juicy with baked fruit and vanilla and the dried fruit lingering. A lovely mature ‘toshan.

Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask Auchentoshan 1992 (24 year old) 46.1%

Bourbon Hogshead 6389/ Dist: Oct 1992 Btl: Oct 2017/ Tasted: Dec 2017

Very malty and barley’d aromas with hints of oily marc-like spirit character. Some freshening lime and gooseberry notes appear along with some subtle, mature oak. Quite Spey-like.

The palate is oily with no shortage of old marc-like notes. Hints of baked fruit, violets and malt on the middle. A little short with a subtle old rose petal finish. Possibly a little too long in the tooth?



Carn Mor Strictly Limited Auchentoshan 2012 (5 year old) 46%

Sherry Butt/ Dist: 2012 Btl: Feb 2018/ Tasted: Jan 2018

Subtle cereal aromas with rose petal, spicy dried fruit, raisin, honey and marc. It takes some time to open up, but when it does, it becomes very rose petally.

The palate opens with spicy marc and a slight feitiness. Hints of cereal, oat biscuits, barley and rose petals come through, but there isn’t much sherry character. A little on the short side but pleasantly spiced with lingering cereal. Personally I think it’s been bottled a little too soon.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Auchentoshan 1997 (16 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2398/ Dist: Oct 1997 Btl: July 2014/ Tasted: Aug 2014

The aromas are a little muted at first and quite straw-like. A touch of sweet Turkish delight emerges along with some herbal rye-like notes, followed by coffee, barley and a touch of toffee. Now the complexity is coming out. A touch of raisinated, almost Cognac-esque fruit emerges and with time some fragrant incense notes appear. Very interesting and evolving nose!

The palate is quite sweet with lightly honeyed barley followed by oxidised fruit and mature rose petals. Lightly coffee’d on the middle with developing woody spices. Taught and tart finish as the alcohol nips but the dried fruit and woody spices linger. Not too shabby as they say and it tastes a lot older than 16.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Auchentoshan 1997 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2534/ Dist: Oct 1997 Btl: Nov 2015/ Tasted: Dec 2015

Succulent and barley’d wiuth white fruit, pepper and hints of Turkish delight on the nose. A lovely barley intensity with an almost mineral freshness and a touch of delicate but creamy oak.

The barley on the palate is a little oilier and there is a touch more toffee’d oak, however it’s still very well balanced by the fresh citric notes. Hints of subtle pepper, granulated sugar, rose petals and apricot follow. Again an almost mineral fresh finish with a touch of drying spices.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Auchentoshan 1997 (18 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2559/ HL12294

Dist: Sept 1997 Btl: Apr 2016/ Tasted: May 2016

A lovely, dusty and fragrant nose of barley, sweet rose petals, rose Turkish delight, eucalyptus, thyme and pepper. Classically ‘toshan with late hints of lime, gooseberry and vanilla.

The palate shows a touch more oak and feels a little fuller. Gently mature with barley and hints of coffee, rose petals, granulated sugar, citrus and pepper. A lovely, spicy finale with lingering rose Turkish delight.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Auchentoshan 1997 (18 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2559/ HL12294

Dist: Sept 1997 Btl: Apr 2016/ Re-Tasted: Nov 2016

A lovely, gristy, perfumed white fruit nose with hints of apricot, rose petals and a touch of granulated sugar. Late notes of citrus, gooseberry and buttery oak.

Lightly oiled on the palate and quite full with apricot, rose petals, buttery oak and wonderfully soft spice. Mouth-filling and robust with a long, spicy and mouth-watering finish.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Auchentoshan 1997 (19 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2623/ Dist: May 1997 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is quite full and barley’d with hints of pear, lemon, strawberry, grainy spice, rye-like herbs and supple vanilla oak. It becomes fresher with time as the citrus kicks in and there’s a lovely, developing floral note too.

The palate exudes sweet barley, pear, raspberry and a touch of straw. Wonderful citric intensity on the middle and that lovely peppery spice builds. Hints of malt, wood tannins follow and the finish is long, floral with hints of Turkish delight and rye-like herbs on the finish.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Auchentoshan 1993 (21 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2517/ Dist: Oct 1993 Btl: Aug 2015/ Tasted: Sept 2015

The nose is quite high toned, grassy and citric with hints of mature honey and barley. Lightly oiled with some buttery, Bourbony oak notes developing along with a touch of earth and fragrant herbs. It takes awhile to get going but it fills out rather well.

The palate opens with some straw-like barley and plenty of creamy/ toffee’d oak. Possibly the oak is a little too dominant but the citrus and herbal notes push through. Long and spicy with the distinctive lightly oiled, triple distilled notes coming through on the finish along with a touch of rose water and lightly bittering tannins.


Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Auchentoshan 2002 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0020/ Dist: Oct 2002 Btl: May 2014/ Tasted: June 2014

A nose of pear drops and buttered toffee. Very sugary with hints of sweet rose water. Strangely appealing.

The palate opens with buttered toffee and strawberry notes. Quite confected and very sweet, however some citrus notes do come through and with the alcohol cleans the finish, but the strawberry sweetness lingers.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Auchentoshan 2002 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0070/ Dist: Oct 2002 Btl: Jan 2015/ Tasted: Feb 2015

A fresh, crisp and grassy nose with hints of boiled sweets, toffee, perfumed rose water and a late hint of pepper.

The palate is lightly peppery with barley, rose Turkish delight coming through. Sweetens on the middle as the strawberries and cream boiled sweet notes arrive. Quite full but finishes fresh and citric with a lovely black pepper after-taste.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Auchentoshan 2003 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0101/ Dist: Jan 2003 Btl: July 2015/ Tasted: Aug 2015

Aromas of cocoa powder and rose water to begin with. Lightly soapy, (but not unpleasantly so) with hints of shredded wheat, vanilla and rose Turkish delight. It becomes quite sweet with time.

The palate is sweet with rose Turkish delight and oily barley. Again biscuity with castor sugar and raspberry Angel Delight notes. Long and slightly peppery but still fairly sweet.


Hunter Laing Distillers Art Auchentoshan 2003 (12 year old) 48%

Bourbon/ Code: ART0030/ Dist: Jan 2003 Btl: July 2015/ Tasted: Aug 2015

Earthy aromas of straw and marc-like green fruit. Underlying perfumed barley, rose water and hints of black pepper. It becomes a little sweeter with time and develops a sort of Tequilla-like character.

The palate is full and fleshy. Quite herbal and again Tequilla-esque with pulped white fruit and a straw-like middle with a touch of rose water and raspberries. Quite a citric and peppery finish with lingering marc-like notes.


Dancing Stag Auchentoshan 1991 (17 year old) 46%

Bottled by Robert Graham

Refill Sherry Butt 490/ Dist: Feb 1991 Btl: May 2008/ Tasted: Dec 2013

Soft, slightly spirity aromas of old straw and white fruit with some light toffee and caramel. Some hints of lemon sorbet attempt to add some freshness but it smells a little tired.

The palate is very much like the nose with old straw-like apricot and sour apple with a touch of old sherry spice. Again a bit flat and tired with a fairly hot finish. In saying that it does have some pleasant peppery-spice moments.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Auchentoshan 2000 (11 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0934/ Dist: Sept 2000 Btl: Oct 2012/ Tasted Oct 2012

A high toned nose of barley and confected rose petal marc. With time some pleasant castor sugar notes arrive along with a touch of earth, citrus and cut grass. 

Lightly oiled and toffee’d on the palate. The sugars build along with the citrus and oily rose petal notes. Quite piquant on the middle and finishing quite sugary accented by some pepper notes. It’s actually quite pleasant for a young ‘toshan.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Auchentoshan 2000 (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0962/ Dist: Sept 2000 Btl: Feb 2013/ Tasted: Feb 2013

The aromas are quite neutral with a touch of gristy barley and lightly creamy oak. With time a touch of coconut emerges as does an almost peaty/ earthy note. 

The palate is again quite neutral with some milk oak and light rose petal marc. Gently oiled with a hint of banana skin and apricot. Good intensity and length with the oak become slightly marzipan-esque and the peppery spices coming out to play!

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Auchentoshan 2000(?) (12 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0993/ Dist: 2000(?) Btl: June 2013/ Tasted: July 2013

A lovely, sherbet orange nose with hints of lemon. Pleasantly fresh with a touch of Turkish delight and perfumed rose water. With time a slight boiled sweet note emerges. All very harmonious. 

The palate is soft and earthy with hints of straw along with a light Tequila note. The palate has a lovely natural feel to it with hints of rose water, Turkish delight and a light boiled sweet, sweetness. Good length with a rose Turkish delight and lemon finish.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Auchentoshan 5.22 9 year old 60%

Bourbon Cask/ Tasted: Sept 2008

The nose is brusque and a bit spirity, there a hint of orange fruit but the alcohol dominates the proceedings. Water emphasises the oak if anything. All a bit underwhelming really.

The palate is dry, oily, with slightly sweet orange along with wood tannins and alcohol. Water gives it a greater sense of depth but mutes what little fruit it has! Not enough fruit and the alcohol is far too intrusive. Water is no help.

Murray McDavid Mission Series V Auchentoshan 1981 (24 year old) 46%

Bourbon – Grenache/ Dist: 1981 Btl: 2005/ Tasted: Nov 2005

Ripe and clean with rich apricot fruits mingling with dusky spices, golden syrup, honey, cereal and sweet vanilla fudge. After awhile plum and wine soaked raisins drift in, but on the edge is this slight vegetal note which detracts a bit.

Dry, soft, smooth and extremely succulent. The palate abounds with rich, spicy red fruits and apricot followed by a floral, flower petal intensity (almost like licking rose petals!). Very long and incredibly spicy with luxurious light syrup coated fruits, and a long classy finish. Great quality spirit, just taste it and judge for yourself and make your own mind up.

James MacArthur Old Masters Auchentoshan 1998 (12 year old) 62.9%

Bourbon Cask 102338/ Dist: 1998 Btl: 2010/ Tasted: Aug 2011

The nose is quite dense and woody, heavy on the coffee and wood spices, although not unpleasant.  In fact it is quite complex with hints of pepper and boiled sweets along with some perfumed rose petal notes. I have to say that I’m impressed with the cleanliness of the aromas, as young-ish ‘toshan can be quite dirty.  With time the peppery notes really come to the fore.

I’d have to describe the palate as sub-industrial, although that is not a criticism. Often ‘toshan can be quite hard going but these sub-industrial notes are countered by the sweet rose petal notes and mingles well with the boiled sweet, pepper and wood spices. The alcohol although pretty high is impeccably behaved, although it does strip the sweetness away and I have to say it is very well integrated. Very good length with some unsweetened Turkish delight notes and a touch of perfume.

A drop of water emphasises the peppery notes on the nose and makes the palate softer and less confected and slightly oilier with some barley sweetness emerging now the alcohol has been tamed. Actually this is rather enjoyable and beats the distillery bottling hands down!

Duncan Taylor Whisky Galore Auchentoshan 9 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Tasted: Sept 2008

Crisp, clean and full of citrus, grass and a teasing hint of sweetness to the fruit. There’s a hint of rose petal marc along with vanilla and earth. The palate has like the nose a slight sweetness. It’s a touch watery and thin but there’s good late grass and vanilla notes. An agreeable young Lowland, simple and bit thin on the palate but pleasant enough.

Duncan Taylor Whisky Galore Auchentoshan 9 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Tasted: May 2009

A sweet, floral, candied marc-like nose with rose petals, a touch of citrus and burnt toffee. Over time it becomes quiet sickly with a clotted cream sweetness. The palate follows the nose in being quiet sweet and candied with the marc-like rose petals upfront. The alcohol and spices bite agreeably on the middle, but it is too Turkish delight sweet and vanillery and like the nose it develops a sickly, clotted cream character.

I really have issues with young Bourbon casked Auchentoshan and I have still yet to encounter a bottling that I would class as agreeable, let alone superb.

Duncan Taylor Whisky Galore Auchentoshan 9 year old 46%

Bourbon Cask/ Tasted: July 2009

Very young, with prominent marc-like rose petal aromas. Quiet a candied sweetness, which increases with time and prickly alcohol. The palate is candied, sweet, straw-like fruit. Quiet simple with hints of marc. The alcohol is noticeable but not intrusive. A good length with hints of soft spice and the marc-like rose lingering. Quiet an oily after taste

Duncan Taylor Battlehill Auchentoshan 6 year old 43%

Tasted: Nov 2008

A light, fruity, grassy nose of youthful cereal, honey, earth and a slight floral note. It however develops a soapy note with time. The palate is pretty much like the nose with a pleasant touch of barley and a spicy finish. However the after taste is marred by the soapiness and a distinctly confected touch.