On April 13th – just three days before I wrote this tasting note – Auchentoshan announced they would start a new Distillery Cask for their visitors. It’s an oloroso sherry cask that was put to sleep on 13th February 2008. I took my red phone – the one with the big A of Auchentoshan on it – and speed dialed my locale contact. He made sure the first two bottles of 70cl and 20cl from that cask left for Belgium on the very same day. Today DHL ringed twice, I signed for the parcel, opened the box, took out the four bottle and immediately pulled the stopper out of one, poured me generous dram of the mahogany colored nectar and settled in.
The nose starts somewhat closed and mysterious with all kinds of forest scents, as if walking through the forest before sunrise, while the forest still has to awaken. Autumn leaves, sniffing tobacco, ferns and some potpourri. But once the sun is up (read: after ten minutes of breathing in the glass) all kinds of dark and sweet aromas arrive. Rum raisins, chocolate, mokatine, orangettes and some nutmeg and cloves.
The arrival is creamy and surprisingly soft. The alcohol is perfectly integrated, making this a delight to enjoy neat. Bitter oranges, dark chocolate, espresso, rum raisins, chewing tobacco. Oh, this is a liquid dessert. And best of all: you can almost discern the character of the whisky and the sherry separately. Very recognizable as Auchentoshan. Rejoice!
Wonderfully long finish that remains dark and sweet and feisty until the death. I simply have to pour me another one of these.
And absolute delight. This is the kind of Auchentoshan I love to share with friends. So the second bottle is going into the vault to be poured at my next Toshan Man Birthday Tasting. With a big THANK YOU to Neil Matthew at Auchentoshan for making this happen. The Toshan Man is a very happy man today.