Auchentoshan are a rare Scottish distillery in that they triple-distill the spirit, something you’d find happening more in Ireland than Scotland. On Malt we’ve previously looked at the Auchentoshan Springwood, which Glen very much agreed with. But I managed to come across a very interesting 2012 Valinch. This a cask strength whisky that has been sitting in first fill bourbon casks and bottled at a mighty 57.2%. Essentially, it’s a non chill-filtered, high strength version of the Auchentoshan Classic. Valinch, incidentally – and which many of you old soaks probably know – is the name of the pipette used for drawing whisky from the cask, through the bunghole.
So, let’s dip in our pipette, so to speak (and to abuse a metaphor):
Colour: gold-straw, a very pale amber really. On the nose: Treacly and floral, but really very elegant on first impression. Very sweet though, the more you hang around, and fairly sharp given the strength.
In the mouth: Super texture. Whizzes around, but has that velvety feel – not especially viscous, but getting there. Brown sugar and honey leading into some sweet pastry, and with a dollop of custard on top. Underlying notes of barley, but wrapped in something altogether creamier. Zippy, citrusy – and young, I’m guessing. Quite raw spirited. Now all the flavours are here, but everything seems a fraction muted. Dulled. Not dull, since there’s some very interesting stuff going on. Just… gentle? But that’s strange, given the strength of it all.
A bit of a mystery, is that. But it’s certainly worth a shot given that it’s under £40. That’s pretty good value.