Auchentoshan represents the Lowlands region of Scotch whisky, distilling in western Scotland near Glasgow. Keeping pace with other prolific Scotch producers, Auchentoshan offers a wide range of single malt expressions in their standard release, limited edition, and travel retail lineups. The label reviewed today is their 10-year-old triple distilled single malt, Auchentoshan 10, which is currently discontinued.
Part of the international Beam Suntory Inc. family of spirits under the banner of Morrison Bowmore Distillers, Auchentoshan is perhaps best known for – or even defined by – their triple distillation process. More common in Ireland, Auchentoshan is the only distillery in Scotland to feature a third still. The intent is to reach a higher level of undiluted flavor by way of further distilling out impurities. Auchentoshan 10 is bottled at 40% ABV (80 proof).
Tasting Notes: Auchentoshan 10 Year Old
Vital Stats: 40% ABV (80 proof), aged 10 years, 100% malted barley, no longer in production but available on secondary markets between the mid-$50 range to well over $150 depending on the year.
Appearance: Golden straw. Medium legs.
Nose: Highly floral, hibiscus tea, disinfectant, slightly sour citrus rind.
Palate: Sweet and floral. Almost Irish. Notes of honey. Not much else going on. Finish is very clean and quick, with vanilla notes throughout.
When bottlings go out of production, the mystique surrounding them tends to build regardless of the experience of the actual product. It seems that much of the fondness driving up secondary market prices for this particular label may be filtered through rose-colored glasses.
Quite honestly, this could have been an incredibly short review based solely on what was in the glass before me. The word that comes to mind most readily to describe Auchentoshan 10 is “forgettable.” The irony comes in when their own website describes their triple distillation process as being “all about the flavor,” when I found flavor to be in very short supply.
FINAL SCORE: 72/100
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Joshua St. John
When not sampling whiskey, Joshua St. John can most likely be found running the trails of the Pacific Northwest surrounding his home in Portland, Oregon. A lifelong world-traveler, Joshua was first introduced to single malts while visiting distilleries in Scotland, and continues to explore the world through the countless interpretations...