The Auchentoshan distillery can be found nestled on the outskirts of Glasgow, at the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills and in the shadow of the Erskine Bridge. Officially founded in 1823, although it is believed 1817 is actually the official beginning of the distillery albeit under the name of Duntocher..
Auchentoshan which is Gaelic for “ the corner of the field “ is one of the only distilleries in Scotland to practice triple distillation and although the lowland style of past was renowned for the triple distilling technique, as the distillery count dwindled so did the art.
Located in the grounds is a small pond that can be found at the front of the distillery as you drive in, this was created by one of the bombs dropped during the war which almost destroyed the distillery, thankfully they missed !!
The distillery has gained a reputation for its light flavours and floral aromas along with some very good single casks and as one of my favourite distilleries I have had the pleasure of quite a few very good expressions.
Todays foray is into one of the single cask, distillery exclusives that can be obtained directly from the distillery under the BYO practice.. Auchentoshan have allowed you to bottle your own direct from the cask for some time now, this is done in the old fashioned way, by hand using a valinch.. This unlike so many of the distilleries that allow you to Bottle direct from the cask is fully hands on and is in my opinion the best way to do it..
Red Wine cask #3814
This red wine cask is a little different to the usual wine casks used by Auchentoshan in that this is not a typical Bordeaux cask but rather the first Californian red wine cask released to the BYO programme and is also a rarity in releases from the distillery..
Not only did I manage to obtain Bottle no1 but a few extra bottles managed to be obtained, its not often you get the chance to get these expressions as a first release..
Age.. 10 years
Cask.. Californian Red Wine #3814
Nose.. An abundance of dried fruits and soft spices rise on the back of dark chocolate, candied oranges, blackberries / redberries picked fresh from the bush and a large dollop of Manuka honey..
Palate.. An onslaught of spices greet the senses with pepper and fresh ginger bringing in the heat before allowing dried fruits and even a hint of cooking apples and poached pears to shine.. Chocolate, espresso coffee and roasted chestnuts ride along with an old oak note, cherries and blackberry jam on toast..
Finish.. Long, dry and spicy
Thoughts.. At least we can still get some quality from my beloved distillery.. Don’t be afraid to overlook the cocktail presence that the distillery seem to be throwing themselves at, but rather dig a little deeper and find the gems that they have lying around, the stuff that does not need to be drowned out by adding a whole lot of extra ingredients in order to be drinkable..
I acknowledge the need to be diverse and get the product into the trendy bars and into the minds of those who might not be wanting to drink their whisky neat but come on, give us a break.. One expression, maybe even two is enough but to throw the whole ethos of the distillery into this area is just plain suicide to me.. But who the hell am I to complain ? its not like I go out of my way to buy every release I can get my hands on or shout about the quality to anyone who will listen or still believe me when ranting..
At least the Indies understand my passion and still pamper to my needs..
“Oh my love what have you done, You shot an arrow in my heart that you can’t take back,
and when I said, “You were my first love, But you are not my last” you turned your back, now there’s a hurt in me I don’t understand, you broke the heart of the only one
that’s ever loved you..
I don’t know what you have become but I need you to get back to where you are from..