After the Bowmore and Glen Scotia, the Flemish bottler The Whiskyman now brings us a new ‘rock whisky’. This time it is a nod to the ‘Cold Hearted Man’ by AC/DC, but what interests me more is the fact that Dominiek has bottled my beloved Auchentoshan for the first time. The spirit is a quarter century old. But… I must admit that this tasting note was very, very difficult for me to finalize. I had first tried this one in October when it was released. I did not work for me then. During the event release of my whisky book, I tried it again – several times. Same result. What is it about this Toshan, I wonder? End of March, I had put in in a line-up at an Auchentoshan Tasting and finally I was able to appreciate it. Albeit after I had left it to breath for 15 minutes! So – today I will take plenty of time for it. Four times is a charm?
Typical grassy and malty nose with loads of citrusy elements. Think lime and some candied lemon peel. A drop of olive oil makes it stand out. Or is that baking butter? After a few moments it turns a bit herbal. Pine needles? And do I detect a trace of smoke as well? I am not yet blown away, but after leaving it for 15 minutes I get wonderfully sweet notes as if from a Mokatine – a Belgian caramel and coffee candy, also known as a ‘little arab’ in my neck of the woods.
It lacks fruitiness on the palate – something I expect from Toshan – and turns spicy and mildly bitter from the start. White pepper and the flesh of a white grapefruit. Quite an active cask, I presume. Again it is much better and sweeter if you leave it for a while. Tasting this after it has just been poured offers a rather soury, dirty Auchentoshan with a strange smoky edge. After 15 miniutes, however, it becomes round and sweet on mocha and coffee. Mokatine, as I have said.
The finish is fairly long and spicy with a drying effect.
It’s a-typical character makes it very interesting, surly, but I would lie if I told you I liked it straight away. This was damn hard work, to be honest, but it is indeed a special bottling. Around 145 EUR.