Auchentoshan is one of the few Lowland malts left, and it certainly does its region proud.
It was first built in 1800 and was bounced around a number of owners for decades.
These days it is owned by Beam Suntory and has the unique selling point of being the one of the only Scottish distilleries that triple distils its product. This is a process more commonly seen in Irish Whisky.
They have been steadily rising amongst the ranks of Scotches an their most recent Travel Retail Exclusive release is yet another hit for the brand.
Auchentoshan are hoping to express some of their passion for innovation and development with the release of two new expressions, Blood Oak and Noble Oak.
Here we take a closer look at Blood Oak, matured in both Bourbon and red wine casks.
The nose opens with a bouquet of soft florals and citrus fruits. There is the tell tale tang of lemons and lime that give a refreshing edge when coupled with the grass hints of rose petals.
This is given depth by an underlying tone of vanilla and crisp white sugar. These add a sweetness that is not too overpowering but is a nice backdrop to the floral notes.
This sweetness develops on the palate into a thick, creamy honey with a mouth feel to match. This is joined by oranges and limes, giving a little kick of citrus on the tongue.
It is smooth with a wonderful hint of peppery spice in the background.
This really brings out the vanilla oak notes of the barrels. These become slightly richer and give a nice warming tone to the honeyed smoothness.
This is a dram that has easily placed flavours but is not overly simplistic. It is meaty and you can really get your teeth into it.
It has a strong finish that really focuses on the pepper spice and brings out more warmth. The citrus fruits have the last say though and combine well with the spice to end.
This is nice addition to the Auchentoshan range and a little drop of water really helps to coax some of the flavours out. It will be interesting to see where else this Lowlands distillery will take us in the coming year!