Auchentoshan American Oak
Taste Score: 82
Category: Single malt scotch, NAS
Whisky Cabinet Score: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Auchentoshan American Oak borrows on trends from the past and future. From the past, Auchentoshan boasts about being a triple-distilled. Folklore will tell you that only Irish whiskey and vodka are triple distilled (neither is true). Generally speaking, the third distillation is likely to remove heavier molecules from the spirit. Some of these heavier molecules are unpleasant, some would naturally oxidized down during barrel maturation, others are flavors that scotch drinkers might enjoy.
The second trend that Auchentoshan jumps on is the popularity of bourbon. American oak refers to the casks used to mature this scotch. While most scotch is matured in American oak, this scotch is matured in first-fill American barrels. Barrels are like tea-bags — with each use they offer less flavour. First-fill barrels maximize the flavor extraction, allowing the distillery to sell a younger whisky.
Auchentoshan is a wonderful light whisky for the casual drinker. This whisky isn't likely to impress scotch enthusiasts, but it's a good starter-whisky in the Auchentoshan line.
Nose: Vanilla, wet-grass mossy, and citrus. There's a touch of an unpleasantness on the nose, not unlike over-ripened bananas, that is mostly covered up by the citrus and vanilla.
Palate: Simple vanilla, caramel, and oiliness that stays consistent from start to finish. There's a peppery-edge to this whisky, but it's on the polite side. The finish falls toward unpleasantly bitter with enough sips.
Conclusion: Smooth with spice. For the whisky enthusiast looking for a smooth dram with some edge, this delivers. It lacks edge. For some, that's an excellent quality in a whisky. For me, it falls on the duller side, but I'm not likely
*Whisky Cabinet Rating Explained:
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Not recommended
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’
★ ★ ☆ ☆ Your great regular rotation whisky that'll come and go
★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent, a near must-have
★ ★ ★ ★ Extraordinary, memorable, and original