The Lowland region of Scotland makes the Campbeltown region look crowded with distilleries. While encompassing a large area on the map, this region is only home to a few operating distilleries. This may be due to a large portion of the population being located in the south and thus not suitable for distilleries, as they need rather pure ingredients. That being said, the few distilleries that are there are doing well and making an effort in the market. Auchentoshan in particular has garnered positive reviews and offers a respectable stable of offerings, both in their regular and special editions. Their main range has a respectable 12, 18 and 21 year old, plus a triple wood and this American Oak, aged in first-fill American bourbon oak casks. We reviewed the Auchentoshan Classic but felt this distillery deserved more attention.
Maturation: American bourbon casks
Nose: Vanilla, oak, coconut, banana, suntan lotion, citrus zest
Palate: Coconut, peach, banana, vanilla
Finish: Mint, spice, oak, oil
Adam – What a panoply of smells and flavors. They’re light, fluffy, ephemeral almost. Dance a light waltz or ronde with this one, but only enough to wet the palate. Unlike a great many of the Scotches we try from the more northerly reaches of the country, this dram gambols with fruit and at times can feel a little dominated by the oak for better or worse. It’s generally smooth, though skips a beat with too much oil on the finish if you’re not ready for it. The delicate nature may be both a strength and a weakness, as the overall experience seems very susceptible to being influenced by anything else you’ve consumed. If any whisky needs an aperitif, this would be it.
Jenny – I feel like I just coated my tongue with Listerine. I do not like this one. However, this was after eating some cheese. With a palate cleanser, it brought out the sweet and took away the medicinal taste. I enjoy it more now.
Meghan – This one has grown on me a bit. At first, I didn’t have any real opinion about it. On a second tasting I was able to identify more flavors and nuances that improved my view. I found a buttered popcorn to the nose, something no one noticed the first time. Mind you, it’s possible what I felt was suntan lotion one day could be construed as buttered popcorn the next, depending on the conditions of my sinuses. There is a refreshing citrus mint on the front palate. It is a little medicinal as well, a bit like those all-natural throat drops. As we were able to pick this up for just a bit over $30, I find it a decent steal. Whether I’d feel that way at its full price I don’t know. But, to be able to put a check mark next to a Lowland for 30 bucks, this is certainly drinkable.
Michael – This has a very tropical feel. Like you could sip it on the beach under a palm tree.