Auchroisk – 20yo
(Bottled 2010, American and European oak, 5856 bottles, 58.1%)
In general the pseudo-retro thing in whisky is a bugbear of mine, but I have to say that this label is a good example of how to do it right. Still super-fakey for a distillery that was only founded in the 1970s however!
Other useful Auchroisk facts:
1) It’s pronounced something like “or-thrusk”.
2) The name means “shallow ford over the red stream”, which seems to be a lot of information to be conveyed with just two syllables, but Gaelic is magic like that.
3) The distillery is, as I said, quite recent and built in quite a cool asymmetrical Modernist style. Have a look on Google Images.
Nose: Interestingly when this bottle was first opened it was incredibly buttery and fudgy, but that has settled down as a bit of air has got in. It’s still there, however, along with some coffee and walnut whips, but now better balanced with some fruity notes: roasted dark plums, orange blossom water and orange syrup. There’s a little touch of something herbal/medicinal in the background – a bit Fisherman’s Friends-ish? It comes out a bit more when you add water.
Taste: Again, quite fudgy and creamy. There’s some sweet fruits too – candied lemon, pineapple, orange – balanced with a slightly bitter herbal note. It’s very pleasing. Toasted brioche too, which is just grand.
Finish: Really long, with lots of interesting little things happening. There’s mint, and a vaguely floral in the background. Faint liquorice, and more distinct green coffee.
A big whisky, this, like a classic Speysider with a supercharger. It’s the little subtle complexities that make it though: it has personality.
Well worth seeking out (this is a bottling from 2010), and I believe there will be a new official 25yo bottling this year.