Auchentoshan 1990 (The Whiskyman) / Auchentoshan 1992 (Sansibar)

Two Auchentoshan bottlings. Not from the exact same vintage, but I don’t think that’s the reason for their big differences anyway. Read on.



Auchentoshan 1992 - SansibarAuchentoshan 22 yo 1992
(50,7%, Sansibar ‘Samurai’ 2015, bourbon cask, 119 btl.)

Nose: quite classic in the sense that it’s rather fruity (lemon, peach, banana, a slightly Irish combo) while also adding mineral notes (limestone) and whiffs of coconut oil. Floral honey. Wood shavings. Light grassy touches as well as a vegetal edge.

Mouth: again quite an Irish profile. Banana and citrus notes, (pink) grapefruit. Vanilla custard. Lightly bittersweet hints of ginger and green oak. Faint waxy notes.

Finish: medium long and rather oily, with grassy notes, oak spices and lingering fruits.

Around € 140.
Score: 87/100




Auchentoshan 1990 - The WhiskymanAuchentoshan 1990 ‘Cold hearted stillman’ (52,7%, The Whiskyman 2015, 169 btl.)

Nose: similar lemon notes, but in this there are more buttery notes. Hints of sweet muesli. Marzipan. Traces of smoke underneath, almost a Caol Ila touch. Light minty notes. The vegetal side is also present here, more prominent than in the Sansibar, making this the slightly dirty one.

Mouth: this is funny and rather unique with the obvious smoky notes. This is in fact similar to (sweet) Coal Ila. Hints of sweet engine oil, something gingery, something acrid and light liquorice before it develops nice mocha / coffee flavours. Not the obvious Auchentoshan, great fun.

Finish: medium long, mostly on sweet roasted flavours.

Around € 145.
Score: 86/100


I can’t deny the Irishness of the Sansibar bottling works a treat.  But then again the 1990 from The Whiskyman is much more unconventional, slightly nervous and deviant (which suits this label well). Both really interesting and so not what you get from official releases.