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Auchentoshan 12 year old

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Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Megawatt » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:05 am

I just opened my first bottle of Auchentoshan 12 year old, and I thought I'd post my impressions for those that are interested. Note that Auchentoshann is a triple-distilled Lowland malt whisky, making it something of an anomaly in Scotch these days.

Nosed directly from the bottle, I get light malt aromas, a hint of green apple, and even some tingling mint. It's fresh and a bit sharp.

I have found that adding a splash of water and letting the glass sit opens it up nicely. This is quite a subtle whisky so you don't want to rush your judgement. At first there is a mellow peach aroma, and a slight grassiness. Gradually something more cloying (mothballs?) develops, as well as a touch of soapy sweetness. Not at all unpleasant, if not entirely remarkable.

It follows through fairly mellow on the palate but does deliver some bite. The development is crisp and bittersweet, with more vegetal/grassy flavours mid-palate. Also a hard rye-like flavour. The only Scotch I've had that is remotely similar is anCnoc 12.

The vegetal bitterness persists through the medium finish. There is also a hint of smoke lurking in there somewhere; this seems to be a variable aspect of this malt, some bottles being markedly smokier than others from what I've read. In fact the smokiness does seem to linger here, but without pronounced peat flavours. Interesting.

Overall it is an intruiging whisky that would probably do very well on the rocks in the summer, or even in a cocktail. It is more complex than first appearances, but more closely resembles an Irish whiskey than a Scotch. Compared to Glenkinchie 12...well, it doesn't really compare. In my mind Glenkinchie is worth the extra money, being a richer, more full-bodied malt with lovely, lively orange-cream and floral aromas and flavours and a well-balanced finish. It asserts itself right away whereas Auchentoshan is a little harder to figure out. Still, it is a great value and a worthy purchase.
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Ganga » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:10 am

I'd be interested in seeing what your impressions are in a month to two. I'm more of a fan of Auchentoshan than Glenkinchie but have not had the 12 or really anything bottled in the last two years.
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Ibitsu » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:01 pm

Fantastic description indeed. This is one I am quite partial to myself, although I pick up more sherry notes (dried fruit etc) and hints of toffee than you describe. I look forward to my next dram of this and considering the other flavours you mention :thumbsup:
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:52 pm

I tried the Auchentoshan 12 last night at a scotch tasting and was pleasantly surprised. Your description is bang on. It has a nice, subtle complexity. I will definetly pick up a bottle. Thanks for posting your tasting note.
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:09 pm

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:I will definetly pick up a bottle.

OK... I guess I will too then, NSF. :wink:
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Megawatt » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:46 am

I actually put a good dent in this bottle over the weekend. Over half the bottle, in fact. Watch out, this one's dangerous :P .

Really nice whisky, though. People who insist on high levels of peat or sherry are really missing out. It definitely reveals itself more over time.
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:35 am

A friend of mine finished off a bottle a couple of years ago when it was the 10 yr old and did not like it at all. I suspect that the current 12 yr bottling may be a vast improvement.

As we all know, scotch is organic in nature and can vary batch to batch, so y'all should give this another go!
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:19 am

Ok OK ok, I am going to eat my words. I picked up a bottle of this and it is not living up to my memory of it at a recent whisky tasting. The whisky tasting may have had an older bottling. Anyway, what I have been sampling tonight is malty, sweet, no complexity whatsoever, a little smoke and not much else going for it. Quite boring.
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Megawatt » Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:42 am

Give it time. It is subtle but by no means boring or one-dimensional, in my opinion. I am down to the last quarter of my bottle and am just starting to realize that I will be sad to see it go.

Or perhaps it is just not to your liking and that is that. But I do hope you will find more to like about it on subsequent tastings.
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Swedish Chef » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:19 pm

Novice Scotch Fan wrote: malty, sweet, no complexity whatsoever, a little smoke and not much else going for it. Quite boring.


That's the way I remember my bottle tasting like. It got mellower and sweeter with time but less malty.
This was one of my very first bottles so perhaps I'd find it better today. I'm sure I'll by another one some day as it's one of the cheapest 12yo's around my neck of the woods.
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby Megawatt » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:00 am

I'm almost done my bottle and I'm finding it more intense and complex at the bottom. This glass is first offered lots of fresh melon, a bit of soap, some floral notes, and now has opened further with bubblegum and surprisingly pronounced smoke. Really nice stuff.

I should also say I'm finding less of the herbal/vegetal bitterness now, almost as though it's been replaced by the smoky notes.
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Re: Auchentoshan 12 year old

Postby dramtastic » Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:03 pm

I tried both Auchentoshan and the Glenkinchie 12 last night and although I would probably never buy a full bottle of either, I would have another Auchentoshan 12 if offered. Did someone mention the Auchentoshan reminded them a little of Balvenie DW, if so, I would have to agree.
As for the Glenkinchie, I found this a bit of a perfumy/soapy/spirity mess. Not my cuppa tea at all.
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