Origin: Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon refill
Added colouring: No
Owner: Wilson & Morgan
Average price: € 270.00
Official website: www.wilsonandmorgan.com
As time flies and the 2023 edition of the Milano Whisky Festival draws near, we proceed with the tasting of one of the most tantalizing samples taken last year: an Auchentoshan, a distillery already rather underrated in its own right and not so easily found among indie bottlers, proposed by the Italian Wilson & Morgan.
It’s a single cask, more precisely a former bourbon refill barrel, No. #100964, distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2021, in 137 bottles still available, at the monstrous 61.3% ABV.
Recall that Auchentoshan is the only Scottish distillery still practising triple distillation (along with Springbank in Hazelburn bottlings). Given the remarkable ageing as well, we expect something very special.
The colour is light amber.
The nose is a floral-balsamic triumph with anise, lavender, liquorice root, camphor and balsamic mint candies, the kind that you can feel in your throat and even in your nose. The contribution of cooking spices is no less, with plenty of white pepper, nutmeg and marjoram. In the background there is a slightly distant hint of ripe apricot. As the olfactory analysis proceeds, there is a touch of vanilla.
On the palate, after a peppery opening in which the alcohol content shows its muscles, we perceive a very peculiar note of freshly cut wood (a hint of sawmill?). Here the floral-balsamic side, although present, is less incisive. Rather, ripe fruit in the guise of apricot and peach, with a touch of orange zest. Auchentoshan’s characteristic aromas of dried fruits, nuts and almonds.
The finish is long, warm and peppery: a mixture of lavender, aniseed and dried fruit
We expected an entirely original dram, and so it was. The nose is among the most bucolic we have encountered in recent times. The palate is slightly more predictable but equally of great pleasure. And the atomic alcohol content is felt just a moment in the mouth (and that’s all we needed), but does not disturb at all. In short, we are faced with a level-headed, multifaceted and intriguing bottling that confirms both Wilson & Morgan’s qualities as selectors and the credit deserved by Auchentoshan whisky.