It has been… three years since I’ve reviewed an Auchentoshan. Some distilleries just don’t seem to be in the news that much and keep going with the same range for years. Even the bottle is still largely the same as the 2008 redesign.
As you know Auchentoshan Three Wood is a triple distilled Lowland single malt matured in 3 different cask types: initially bourbon casks, then a finish in Oloroso casks and then in Pedro Ximénez casks. The last time I tried it, I found it a bit unbalanced.
Auchentoshan Three Wood (43%, OB +/- 2021)
Nose: quite some aromatic woody tones up front, like cigar boxes and the kind of fragrant French oak that reminds me of commercial cognac. Plenty of cinnamon and nuts, as well as grapes, cranberries, plum jam and blood oranges. Dried flower petals and a hint of lavender. Slightly spin-doctored.
Mouth: praline and maple syrup, with a bit of wood bitterness on the one side and bright floral notes on the other. Oranges again, with ginger and cinnamon. Hints of Mon Chéri and blackberries. Brown sugar and cocoa powder. Tobacco leaves in the background. The spicy side becomes quite tangy.
Finish: medium, with some herbal wood, toffee and nice chocolate notes.
Still quite unbalanced in my opinion, with the wood wizardry overtaking the Lowland character. Not too bad though. Some people like bold whisky with uncommon flavours so within the otherwise rather bland core range this has a loyal following. Available from Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange for instance.