Hi all! Went out for my birthday drams (only 3 months late, my parents are getting better), and when they didn’t have the Banff distillery Scotch I had planned on picking up, I decided to do my own 4 region tour (sorry Cambeltown fans). It’s great when my father pays.
Let’s start with an interesting dram I’ve been considering for awhile, the Auchentoshan 11 year Bordeaux Cask. This spends a full 11 years in ex-Bordeaux casks. Also it’s strong enough that you should watch out for open flames with this around. I’m expecting something quite amazing, as it won the World Whiskies Award in 2012 for Best Lowland and Best Lowland 12 years and under. Let’s see if it lives up to the hype and I finally find a lowland worth bragging about.
Colour: Red Velvet
Nose: Red wine, sour cherry, key lime, caramel, lemon cake
Very strong sweet and sour notes. It has a stronger nose than the Classic or the 21 year, which is an improvement already. I’m not lost like I usually am with other lowland region Scotches. It’s like a drunk Floridian baker. He may have fallen asleep in the gutter after a rough day at the bakery.
Taste: Red wine, ginger, varnish, orange, oak, sand, lime juice, caramel
The sweetness opens into more sourness and then sand jumps in. It’s quite sour, and the oak is a major factor as well. I’m not saying this isn’t complex, or not a good dram, I’m just saying it’s sour as hell, woody as anything, and powerfully strong in those areas. I almost wish there was some floral notes or something to offset the sourness. I’m not hating it. It’s reminding me of a port wood finish almost, though way more sour.
Finish: Sour candy, cantaloupe, currants, lemon peel, oak, salty fish, grapes, Tabasco sauce.
The finish is medium in length. The sour candy and oak are huge here again. Like having a candy tree fall on a Mormon furniture shop…. wait, maybe I got that mixed up. None the less, it’s really sour still, though not as sour as the taste.
Conclusion: This is a good lowland. Would I buy a bottle of it? No, however that’s just because the different flavours aren’t my thing. That being said, it’s a good choice for trying the weaker Scotch region, and at 58% Abv. it’s stronger than the 21 year. I’d probably recommend someone try it over the 21 since it’s probably cheaper and it’s stronger, though the overall flavour profile of the 21 year means it’s actually better. If the flavours were less face puckering than I’d be happier with it.
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