It feels like i am always looking at another single cask from Auchentoshan these days, i have a few more to come but todays release is another official release, i say release it is another from the BYO stable available from the distillery..
It is fair to say the Auchentoshan distillery still holds a soft spot in my heart and i do struggle to find fault with the whisky released and with that in my thoughts i do find myself setting the standards higher for the liquid in order to make sure i am being honest.
The distillery is always a pleasure to visit and with a warm welcome from the team every time i arrive its not hard to understand why i feel so at home there every time i visit.. Even when i cant visit the team always try to accommodate my ever increasing demands and high standards.
There has now been a BYO programme for several years and this has always being one of the best experiences in the fact they allow you to do the process the old way, a valinch and a cask full of whisky, whats not to love ?
Ok paying for it doesn’t always go down well but you have to do that everywhere so i cant grumble too much, although the true Yorkshire man in me ensures i still do… Anyway the experience (when allowed / covid allows ) is always done with a smile and a few laughs, the odd sneaky taste and the obvious trying to get that extra 2ml into the bottle before the corks is swiftly put in place..
At the moment there is a return to two casks, the first is a stunning 24yo first fill Oloroso butt that does command a pricey tag but you get what you pay for and believe me this one is a stunner…. I will of course take a look at this one very soon.
Todays review however is for a slightly younger 11 year old from a first fill Bordeaux cask which i will assume comes from Chateau La Grange but i could be very wrong here, as i am only going on older expressions and have no confirmation.
Bordeaux Cask #670 – Auchentoshan Distillery Exclusive
Age.. 11 Years
Distilled.. April 2010
Bottled.. June 2021
Cask.. #670 – 1st Fill Bordeaux
Nose.. Summer fruits bounce around the glass like its normal. Chocolate, dates, plums and honey give a performance like no other and the sweet notes just keep coming with demerara sugar, vanilla and some black cherries just to finish off.. Coffee as black and sweet as the darkest soul mingles with aniseed and candied oranges.
Palate.. There is certainly a hint of oak with this but the sweetness overturns the tannins very easily. The plums, dates, and coffee all offer up the dark side of this whisky with the softer side being well and truly dominated..
Finish.. Sharp and sweet alternate
Thoughts.. It is interesting that for as long as i can remember i have not wanted to add water to one of these straight from the cask expressions but i feel this needs a little taming.. It wants to be the dominant one but for once it needs to be taken down a notch or two, the alcohol strength is impressive at 62% and could easily put some people off with its overpowering points.
When you get to the bottom of this all you want to do is dive in for more, its that good, and i am not always one for a wine cask whisky as i can find them too far left field for me but this one has grabbed my attention from the start and with a lot of time and attention this could become something you don’t want to finish as it wont be repeated..
I do wonder however what one of these would be like as a second fill when that attitude is removed just a little and the distillery profile is allowed to actually shine through.
What does intrigue me with these Byo offerings from the distillery is why is there no Bourbon casks anymore ? We see so many from the indie bottlers, but its so many years since we had one officially, and they were so good… So please if you see this Auchentoshan, please, please can we have some more Bourbon casks made available…