Auchentoshan 3 Wood

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Class:  Lowland Single Malt Scotch

Reviewers:  Andrew Owen, Brett Mullins

Auchentoshan, built in the 1800s and currently owned by Beam-Suntory, is located just west of Glasgow which makes it one of few single malt distilleries in the Scottish lowlands, the southern half of Scotland that is known for farming, rolling plains, and grain distilleries producing gentle column distilled grain whiskies used primarily for blending.

While Auchentoshan distills single malt whisky via pot still, it still holds true to the classic style of the lowlands, triple distilling its whisky (as opposed to the more common Scottish style of double distillation) which results in a cleaner, higher proof distillate.  This shows through in Auchentoshan's ex-bourbon barrel aged malts, which are light and gentle.  Here, however, we have the additional use of sherry casks to add influence to the malt.  For more information on Auchentoshan's distilling process, check out whisky.com's distillery profile.

Notes:

  • Made from completely unpeated malted barley
  • Aged (allegedly) 10 years in ex-bourbon barrels followed by 1 year in Oloroso sherry casks and 1 additional year in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks (hence "3 wood")
  • Bottled at 43% ABV
  • Chill filtered

Andrew's Review

Nose: Lots of typical sherry components. Dark plum and dark citrusy orange. Some raw brown sugar beneath the fruit.

Palate: Somewhat rough. Feels like a younger, less refined whisky, despite being aged around 10 years.  The heat dissipates quickly upon entry to reveal creamy dark plum sauce, figs, and hints of citrus. Maybe some tobacco. Light, slightly oily mouth feel.

Finish: Sweet plum and fig. Black pepper. Short to medium in length.

Score:  75/100

Buying Recommendation:  Worth buying a pour.  This is a textbook example of "try before you buy".  I feel that it is underdeveloped; there is a nice base of flavor there, but there's little depth.  This can either hint at less-than-stellar-quality casks being used, or the malt just not being in the cask long enough (aka it's too young).  Its not bad, but unless somewhat one-dimensional low proof sherried drams are your thing, you can likely find something better to spend $55 on.

*Here at WBSE, we sometimes drink the same whiskey (Surprise!) and we find that most often, two or three opinions are better than one (unless one of them is Greg's).  We like to see how our own tasting notes compare with each other, and you will get multiple opinions on overall score!  Everybody wins!*

Brett's Review

Nose: The nose is rich with dried fruit and cocoa. There is an underlying nuttiness and a hint of soft spices.

Palate: Layers of dried fruit greet you, bringing plums, raisins, and red apple.  As it develops, the nuttiness of the nose returns and turns into oak, chocolate, and cinnamon. The flavors are clean and clear. Perhaps they are correct about the effect of the triple distilling. Absolutely no burn.

Finish: Oak, brown sugar, and cinnamon linger fairly long, while the hint of chocolate and fruit dies more quickly.

Score:  91/100

Buying Recommendation:  Buy it Now!  This whisky is a delectable blend of all of my favorite whisky flavors.  I had passed over this label for far too long.  Don't make that same mistake!

The Rating Scale

At WBSE we use a true 100 point scale for scoring to allow whiskeys to further differentiate themselves (as opposed to a letter grade scale where 90% of whiskeys fall between 78-92). This allows you to more easily compare scores between different whiskeys. Here is how the scale breaks down:

1-49: Varying degrees of bad

55: Average

60-69: Better than average

70-79: solid/good

80-89: excellent

90+: truly exceptional

All thoughts and opinions expressed are original to the author of the review or article. We are in no way paid to express any specific opinion about any specific company or product.

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Publisher

All Time Favorite Whisky: Balblair 1990 2nd Edition

Daily Drinkers: Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel, Springbank 10 Year

A former craft beer enthusiast, Andrew fell in love with whiskey after tasting a pour of Laphroaig 10 year and being amazed that such a flavor could exist within a liquid. With a college background in biochemistry and a passion for history, Andrew quickly grew to love the science of whiskey making, the history of different distilleries, and the exploration of flavors within a dram. To Andrew, whiskey is more than just a drink; it is a fascinating mix of art and science – an intricate beauty to be pondered and appreciated. Besides this, Andrew has found that a nice bottle of whiskey has an amazing ability to bring people together and unite people from all different backgrounds together as friends.

While Andrew can be found drinking any style of whiskey from any region around the world, he has a particular affinity for spice-laden bourbons and coastal scotches. Besides drinking whiskey, Andrew also enjoys weight lifting, road biking, and cooking.
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Scotch & World Whisky Specialist, YouTube Channel Manager

All Time Favorite Whisky: Talisker 18 year

Daily Drinkers: Laphroaig Quarter Cask, Old Forester 1920

Brett is a musician and singer with a passion for whisky that began in 2010. He began his journey with scotch and it remains his first love. His first experiences with scotch, Glenlivit 12 year and Johnny Walker Swing, only fed a desire to try more. Brett also drinks rye, bourbon, blended whiskey, cognac, and occasionally, rum. Although he enjoys them all, none ignite him like scotch. Brett follows a philosophy of experiencing whisky in as many different expressions as possible and sees every taste of whiskey as worthwhile, regardless of his ultimate opinion of it.

As a lifelong history buff, the historical aspects of whiskey, both in Europe and America, are fascinating to Brett and only add to this fulfilling hobby. Brett resides near the center of the U.S., where bourbon is more common than scotch. None the less, he seeks out new and different scotch whisky daily, in order to expand his knowledge and to find those most interesting drams worthy of sharing with other enthusiasts around the world.

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