The distillery is located on the outskirts of Clydebank, Glasgow just beside the Kilpatrick hills. The distillery itself sits nestled on the edge of a housing estate and besides a busy main road, surrounded by rolling hills, headstones in a nearby cemetery and the mighty Erskine Bridge is within sight. The white walls and large black writing that announces just which distillery this is would on first appearance make this seem like a typical distillery.. However this is a distillery that offers something a little different to whisky made in a traditional way.
The distillery history can possibly be traced back to around 1817 although officially the distillery we know as Auchentoshan was founded in 1823. 1817 is the date that a distillery named as Duntocher is mentioned for producing a single malt whisky which some believe was on the same site as where the distillery sits today, and it is strongly believed to be the same distillery as what we now know as Auchentoshan although some do dispute this fact..
Officially founded by John Bulloch but more or less sold instantly to Alexander Filshie in the same year, the distillery is a great example of the lowland style and the triple distillation which offers up a wonderfully light, floral whisky is in today’s market fairly unique, especially within Scotland but more common within the Irish whisky making process..
Over the years the Auchentoshan distillery has seen a good few owners and hardship, bombed in 1941 by a German plane the distillery was severely damaged with evidence still noticeable today in the form of the pond just yards from one of the warehouses which is one of the craters from the bomb blast !!
Auchentoshan is unusual in that it practices triple distillation instead of the industry norm double distillation. This is believed to produce a lighter more floral, sweeter whisky generallay associated with the ” Lowlands” area of Scotland’s whisky production. Auchentoshan is not a distillery that you will find any peat or smoke used within its production, as it likely to over power the more delicate, floral whisky and its lovely subtle fruit flavours..
However more recently the distillery is starting to produce some more hefty, big bodied and absolutely fantastic fully matured sherried whisky from both Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks as well as some absolute stunning wine cask “finishes” and full maturation, although this may not be a new thing it is becoming more mainstream..
Cask Strength Collection – Signatory, Auchentoshan 20 year old
Age.. 20 years
Distilled.. February 2000
Bottled.. November 2020
Cask.. Ex Bourbon Barrel #800041
Outturn.. 163 Bottles
Nose.. Initially very floral with blossom and wild flowers injecting plenty of freshness along with damp cut grass, lemon citrus and apples freshly squeezed.. That very typical Toshan nuttiness is there in abundance with soft notes of heather honey and Victoria sponge cake.
Palate.. Ground barley and citrus bitterness greets you instantly with a nice peppery heat lurking alongside the honeyed sweetness that soon starts taking over and bringing with it that nutty note we expect to find within any good toshan..
Finish.. Spices and citrus notes linger
Thoughts.. O come on you know whats coming here.. Its delicious, its Toshan, what do you want me to say ?
This is so very typically Auchentoshan from its light floral and honeyed notes to those bitter citrus notes that balance out the nuttiness and peppery notes.. Yes this sits far better with me in the middle of summer or Autumn days but even on a very cold Winter morning ( yes its morning and i am drinking whisky ) this whisky for me brings so much happiness.. But i know it will not set some peoples world on fire due to its lightness and more delicate flavours / aromas but if you haven’t tried a toshan and wonder why i love the liquid so much then this is one of those whiskies id say to try to get a true feeling to how it should taste.. Stay away from those entry level supermarket expressions if you want to know the true essence of the distillery..