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October 20, 2016


Special Releases Special, today Auchroisk

Not a lot to say about J&B’s Auchroisk, except that, as some new whisky bloggers would say, you may pronounce that ‘Oh-thruskk’. Which sounds a bit like Olaf The Hairy’s battle cry if you ask me… We’ll start this with a slightly older one, since that one was bottled at a lower strength.

Auchroisk 27 yo 1988/2016 (48.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 258 bottles)

Auchroisk 27 yo 1988/2016 (48.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 258 bottles) Four stars Colour: white wine. Nose: polished by time, as they used to say in whisky books before NAS. Because it’s definitely time, and not oak, that did build this subtle and fresh fruitiness that goes way beyond apples and pears. Guavas come out, and so do jujubes, all that being coated with touches of lilac and geranium flowers. A subtle and very elegant Auchroisk. Mouth: starts smooth and a little shy, gets then spicy (peppery), and goes then towards these subtle tropical fruits again. No wham-bam mango, though, rather green bananas, for example. And not-too-ripe pineapples. Excellent, even if sometimes not too classic. Finish: quite long, on some kind of fruit and pepper cocktail. Blood oranges and nutmeg? A touch of spicy cardboard in the aftertaste. Comments: at times, I would have said Tomatin. SGP:651 - 87 points.

Auchroisk 25 yo 1991/2016 (54.7%, Claxton’s, bourbon hogshead)

Auchroisk 25 yo 1991/2016 (54.7%, Claxton’s, bourbon hogshead) Four stars We’ve already tried some excellent whiskies by this fairly new bottler. Colour: straw. Nose: it hasn’t quite got the fruits that were in the 1988, but it’s got some good grass and hints of luxury hand cream. It’s quite floral, in fact, and indeed lilac is back (S., you know that alliterations kill!). Orange drops. With water: same. Mouth (neat): good! Tinned fruits coated with pepper, ginger, and cinnamon. In truth I’m finding this Tomatiny side again. Also tinned peaches ala Ardmore, and some caraway ala… Ach, caraway eau-de-vie. With water: same. Finish: medium, creamy, on more tinned peaches. Add one marshmallow. Comments: this baby’s immune to water, but that doesn’t matter, it’s pretty excellent when neat. SGP:551 - 86 points.

Auchroisk 25 yo 1990/2016 (53.4%, OB, Special Release, 3,954 bottles)

Auchroisk 25 yo 1990/2016 (53.4%, OB, Special Release, 3,954 bottles) Four stars Not the first oldish official Auchroisk. A 20 had been excellent back in 2010 (WF 87), whilst the Manager’s Choice (not Dram) from 2009 had been a little less flabbergasting IMO (WF 82), and the 30 yo from 2012 really good (WF 85). Excuse me? The earlier Singletons? Bah… Colour: straw. Nose: starts a little varnishy, in a good way, and unfolds on a fruit salad covered with custard. Very nice whiffs of old cellar and damp wood, that adds more dimension. Once again, some flowers are playing above all that, such as lilac again, lilies, dandelions… With water: perfect! More complexity, blond cigarettes, teas, eucalyptus leaves… It loves water – a mystery after the 1991. Mouth (neat): totally in the style of Claxton’s 1991. Tinned fruits and pepper, Weetabix, peaches, and pepper. Nothing is not to be liked. With water: and once again water opens new doors. Pastries, fudge, and even these small biscuits they have in Switzerland, called Läckerli. Finish: medium, a little spicier, more towards speculoos. The aftertaste is a notch bitterish, which makes it lose one point. There. Comments: super good. To be honest all three were playing in the same ballpark, only wee nuances allowed us to differentiate them. Oh and water. SGP:551 - 87 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Auchroisk I've tasted so far



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