This may sound weird, but the day I realized that distillation is primarily a stripping operation, rather than some sort of magical, ethereal infusion of wonder and excitement with beer, that was the day my education really began. After all, the more you distill something, the closer you get to vodka, a spirit which is best known as a boring cash driver that craft distillers make while they wait to release their $80 two year old bourbon. As it so happens, most Scotch producers only distill twice to achieve a good balance with fermented flavors and distilled alcohol. Auchentoshen, the Lowland distillery, takes an Irish route and distills three times.
You might think that a thrice distilled spirit, besides being high ABV, 80% in this case, would be too stripped down and light, but Auchentoshen, as their reputation informs, seems to have found an ideal process for their whisky. I remember the Three Wood we tried was certainly not lacking for flavor in the least. The 12 year old, their flagship single malt, is distilled 3 times and aged in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry oak and is bottled at 40% ABV. On to it…
Nose– Honeyed raisins, brandy like with fresh biscuits and Werthers Originals. Raspberry cream. Grain. Baked apples and cedar. Confectionery.
Taste- Sweetness and cereal. Thin dry fruit. Sugar punch. Light overall.
Finish- Roasted almonds. Medium length with leather. Honeyed oak. Dryer sheet. Bitter oak.
Comment- The nose is quite nice but taste is lacking in depth. Very straight forward and simple. Might benefit from a higher ABV. Decent enough.
SWC Rating- 81/100
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