By Richard Thomas
Sometimes referred to as “Glasgow’s malt whisky” because of the distillery’s proximity to that city, Auchentoshan is one of the six distilleries comprising the Lowland region. The sweet and delicate signature of the spirit coming off Auchentoshan’s stills has also led some to call it “the breakfast whisky,” and that particular flavor likely stems from one of the more idiosyncratic practices of the distillery: Auchentoshan is one of the few distilleries in Scotland employing triple distillation, by and large an Irish practice.
The Auchentoshan 12 Year Old replaced the distillery’s 10 Year Old expression as their entry-level single malt. Bottled at 40% abv, the whisky has a deep, off-color gold appearance. Another way to look at it would be as a bright, well-polished bronze coloring.
The nose conjures spiced honey mead in a musty old barrel, what with its heavy, creamy sweet cereals and spice blend enmeshed in a certain earthiness. In contrast to that, the flavor is on the dry side, quite woody and tannin-heavy, with only a moderate malty sweetness to round it out, this seasoned with vanilla and ginger. The finish is just as dry and gingery, with a long, lingering warmth.
Auchentoshan 12 Year Old typically runs about £35 in the UK, is usually somewhat cheaper across the Channel in Europe (presumably due to lower taxes) at about €37, and goes for around $40 in the U.S.