Auchentoshan 12 year old is reviewed by Steven Crotty
Auchentoshan* 12 Years Old
Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Price range £25 – 30
All of you who are familiar with the whisky epicentre that is Scotland will know Scotch whisky is broken down into four regions: Lowland, Speyside, Highland & Islands (or just Islay depending on your preference). The idea being that each region has a unique trait which defines it and the taste of the whisky it produces. Whilst regions do tend to adopt one style, this is largely bull. There is no hard and fast rule dictating that a Highland whisky can’t be as light and delicate as a Speysider.
Coming out swinging from the Lowlands we have the Auchentoshan distillery and their 12 Year Old single malt. The three cheapest whiskies the distillery makes are the three most well known, and the 12 year old falls into the middle on price (more expensive than Classic, but cheaper than the Three Wood). All Auchentoshan also hold the distinction of being triple distilled. Whereas most distilleries stop after the second time, here it is done for a third and final time through the stills, which according to the maker is ‘what gives Auchentoshan its distinct, smooth clean taste.’ Whether you believe this or think it is just a selling niche is your choice.
What is clear immediately is that Auchentoshan Distillery are doing something right. The smell is wonderfully sweet, the honeyed nose carrying with it a faint hint of heather. To taste this Auchentoshan is to fall in love with it. Fans of the brand from yesteryear will tell you how delicate and light this dram used to be. Thankfully this has been amended. Whilst it is no heavy monster of a whisky, it has certainly become weightier and as such the delicate flavours are more pronounced, singing in the mouth where before they only whispered.
As with all good whiskies this should be appreciated neat, or with ice/water at maximum, else the flavours will be lost. Interestingly the website lists several cocktails and even meals that can make use of the more expensive ‘Three Wood’ previously mentioned. Either it is more versatile than this or, as I suspect, not as good. Don’t be taken in by price alone. If you’ve bought the 12 Year Old, you’ve bought wisely.
Overall rating 8.5/10
*Auchentoshan means ‘corner of the field’. I knew you’d be curious.