Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Whisky Review: Provenance Auchentoshan 13 Year 2002/2015

I've had very mixed experiences with IB Auchentoshan, especially ones on the younger side. They often seem to be casks that weren't maturing particularly well and diverged from the distillery profile in one way or another. But I keep looking, because when they hit the mark they really work for me.

This whisky was distilled in October 2002, filled into a refill ex-bourbon hogshead, then bottled in November 2015 at 46% without coloring or chill filtration.

I purchased this sample from Dramtime, where both the sample and the full bottle are still available.

Provenance Auchentoshan 13 Year 2002/2015 Cask #DL10969

Nose: classic bourbon cask Auchentoshan - waxy, mixed citrus peel, green apple, caramel, dusty malt, fudge-y/polished oak, vanilla, something fishy in the background. After adding a few drops of water the citrus and vanilla notes get stronger, some berries come out behind, the wax fades into the background, and it feels aromatic in an almost perfumed fashion (but without any floral notes).

Taste: sweet with a citric tartness up front, creamier caramel around the middle, clean fade out through creamy fresh malt and vanilla. After dilution the sweetness becomes more mellow, the tartness largely fades until the back, but citrus peel rides on top of everything.

Finish: very malty, pleasant oak, lingering citrus peel and herbal notes

This is just really nice. Not particularly complicated, just a very straightforward presentation of what Auchentoshan is like when its put in a decent ex-bourbon cask. I happen to be a fan of this style, even if it doesn't reach the heights of their older casks. The finish is probably the weakest link, but my expectations weren't particularly high. I would happily buy a bottle if it was closer to €50, which is what I expect for a malt of this age.

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