Whiskey Review: Auchentoshan American Oak - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Auchentoshan American Oak

Auchentoshan American OakThe Auchentoshan distillery holds a special place in my heart. The Three Wood is one of the best scotches that I’ve ever tried. It’s also the first scotch I ever tried to review. And the dearth of single malt distilleries coming from the Lowland area makes for something that is always a little unique.

My biggest problem with Auchentoshan is that many of the stores in my area don’t stock their products. It was a pretty big deal for me when one began to carry the Three Wood. Sadly, though, that was the only offering they chose to stock. So I was particularly excited when a friend of mine gave me a bottle of Auchentoshan’s American Oak offering.

I recommend everyone share a bottle with friends over an evening or a weekend of celebration. The atmosphere itself is enough to increase the amount of enjoyment you can get out of a dram. Or two. Or three. In this instance, the celebration was the nuptials of fellow Whiskey Noob, Matt. Faced with a potentially devastating snowstorm, we all decided to thumb our noses at the snow and enjoy an evening of camaraderie, including cracking open this bottle to share among friends and family. My first and lingering impression was that of the memory of circus peanuts, one of my favorite things as a child. I was ao impressed with it that I couldn’t wait to do a proper review.

The night ended in a fog for me. Though the wedding didn’t completely go off as planned, in the end, the day ended with a married couple and a very memorable wedding. Congratulations Matt, and welcome to the world of wedded bliss. Now time to get back to work tasting and taking notes on the water of life.


Color: Gold

Nose: Citrus bursts out initially, with orange and lemon dominating. There are the obvious oak notes as well as something musty, with a hint of freshly cut grass.

Palate: Dense and complex, there are a lot of different flavors swirling around here. The palate begins with a very pleasant buttery, malty oak hiding a bit of of coconut and clove spice.

Finish: The finish is short. It starts with cinnamon, but then the flavors morph into the citrus from the nose: grapefruit, lemon and lime.

With Water: More wood in the nose, but that is the extent of anything of note. It is better without.

SCORE: 85/80 with water


Color: Golden

Nose: Aromatic even from the pour. Distinguishable notes of vanilla, marshmallow, banana, and an orangey citrus overlay the ever-present oak. Together, those notes combine to form that distinctive circus peanut aroma.

Palate: I don’t want to put too fine a point on it, but it is right there in the name: Oak. It does stand out, but it’s not the only thing present. The palate starts with a peppercorn mélange of earthy spice. It’s got an oily, buttery texture that holds on to a nice malty vanilla flavor.

Finish: Compared with the Auchentoshan Three Wood, this finish is quite short, but its brief stay packs a punch. The peppercorn becomes more cinnamon and the citrus from the nose is there but more bitter than sweet.

With water: Mostly the same, maybe adding some peachy notes. The palate is diminished but still good.

SCORE: 87 / 85 (with water)

Usually priced under $40, this Scotch is a must-have. Great, complex flavors and a reasonable price makes it one that you can afford to keep on hand. This is a Scotch that tastes more expensive than it is and is great to share with good company.



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