Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Whisky Review: Provenance Auchentoshan 12 Year/1999

Not a lot to say about this one. Despite the label, there is very little information about its provenance. It was distilled at Auchentoshan sometime in 1999, aged for at least 12 years in an oak cask, then bottled at 46% without coloring or chill filtration for Douglas Laing's McGibbon's Provenance line.

Provenance Auchentoshan 12 Year/1999

Nose: thick bourbon cask influence, spicy oak, a little sour and funky (Jamaican rum-style), overripe fruit. After adding a few drops of water the funk is amplified and it is much drier overall.

Taste: rich, creamy malt and American oak sweetness throughout, fading towards bittersweet at the back, generically fruity with dunder funk around the middle, soft oak tannins around the back. After dilution the funk grows much stronger and suppresses much of the sweetness, while the oak tannins also become stronger and more bitter at the back.

Finish: malt, oak, vague fruit, lingering funk

In most respects this seems like a fairly basic bourbon cask malt. The funkier notes that remind me of Jamaican rums. It's not impossible that this is a rum cask matured or finished malt, but that seems a little unlikely given that Provenance is the more bare-bones line of single malt from Douglas Laing.

But whatever the source, that character keeps it from being generic or boring. With that said, water amplifies the funk a bit too much even for me and throws the malt out of balance. Unless you're really into those notes - and even then you might as well drink Jamaican rum instead - I'd hold off on the water. This was already reduced as far as it could reasonably go.

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