Thursday, December 9, 2010

Auchentoshan Classic

Photobucket   My first experience with the single malts from Auchentoshan was a few years back with my old buddy, Chris, who had acquired a most delicious bottle of Auchentoshan 20+ year. It's been too long since I savored her luxuriously amber depths ripe with plummy and stone fruits to remember all the details, but her memory has lingered long and warmly. I find it quite appropriate that I am back in her embrace not with a particular age statement but with one of their newer bottlings from a recently revamped selection of differing quality single-malts.
For those not familiar with this oft under-appreciated distillery, she stretches back as far as 1823. What was once a popular method of distillation is now uniquely singular to the Lowland whisky of Auchentoshan: triple distillation. Anyone familiar with Irish whiskey knows of this distillation method but for Scotland tis an unusual and unique hold-over from times past. While all other Scottish single-malts double distill, Auchentoshan triple distills. Some could argue for a better product or lesser, but I think of her as simply different and different is neither less nor more but simply a beautiful sum of her differing parts for a truly unique tasting experience steeped in tradition and history.
The Classic is a fresh young spirit aged in bourbon oak casks and trust you me, she was all that much more tasteful for it. There is merit and truth in vintage single-malts, but as we explore and understand more about whisky, a young spirit in deft hands can be just as meritous and passionate as her older, matured brothers and sisters. As I prepare to delve deeper into her spiritous depths, Cheers! to my lovely for choosing this bottle for my next Dramventure.

Color: on the lighter side of honey with her colors thinning along the edges of her glassy vessel. swirls with a solid sticky layer of tears which linger nicely.

Nose: light, delicate, elegant, and seductive. gentle honey, hay, and straw notes. sticky sweet with a hint of orange in the honey with the comb adding earthy crispness. subtle vanilla which reminds me of the soft crumbly vanilla cookies of cookie tin yore. fresh young morning dew drops - like waking up to a clear sunrise on a slightly crisp yet sunny spring day. silken. sugared lemon drops which leads into lemon poppy seed cake. freshly cut oak lingers in the back with a tickle of sweet heat and spice.

Body: clean and light with sticky lips and sticky cheeks. dries top of tongue - slightly brash but not detrimentally so, coming across as raw white oak planks.

Palate: sweetness of real honeycomb on the tip of my tongue leads into orange honey then lemon peel and white oak. peppery and spicy in the back, seductively so. dryness of white oak in the middle and underneath while vanilla mingles with the honeycomb. each quaff solidly grabs middle of my throat. thin but in an elegant posh silken way. a bold middle explodes with all flavors, then disperses slowly, each flavor seeping into my body both alone and together.

Finish: long, dry and sweet. white oak. whole black peppercorn. vanilla in breath. lemon peel back of tongue, grabbing my attention with each swallow. maintains a refreshing dew-dropped spring morning. mint drifts by upon a gentle breeze.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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