Nosed directly from the bottle, I get light malt aromas, a hint of green apple, and even some tingling mint. It's fresh and a bit sharp.
I have found that adding a splash of water and letting the glass sit opens it up nicely. This is quite a subtle whisky so you don't want to rush your judgement. At first there is a mellow peach aroma, and a slight grassiness. Gradually something more cloying (mothballs?) develops, as well as a touch of soapy sweetness. Not at all unpleasant, if not entirely remarkable.
It follows through fairly mellow on the palate but does deliver some bite. The development is crisp and bittersweet, with more vegetal/grassy flavours mid-palate. Also a hard rye-like flavour. The only Scotch I've had that is remotely similar is anCnoc 12.
The vegetal bitterness persists through the medium finish. There is also a hint of smoke lurking in there somewhere; this seems to be a variable aspect of this malt, some bottles being markedly smokier than others from what I've read. In fact the smokiness does seem to linger here, but without pronounced peat flavours. Interesting.
Overall it is an intruiging whisky that would probably do very well on the rocks in the summer, or even in a cocktail. It is more complex than first appearances, but more closely resembles an Irish whiskey than a Scotch. Compared to Glenkinchie 12...well, it doesn't really compare. In my mind Glenkinchie is worth the extra money, being a richer, more full-bodied malt with lovely, lively orange-cream and floral aromas and flavours and a well-balanced finish. It asserts itself right away whereas Auchentoshan is a little harder to figure out. Still, it is a great value and a worthy purchase.
Really nice whisky, though. People who insist on high levels of peat or sherry are really missing out. It definitely reveals itself more over time.
As we all know, scotch is organic in nature and can vary batch to batch, so y'all should give this another go!
Or perhaps it is just not to your liking and that is that. But I do hope you will find more to like about it on subsequent tastings.
Novice Scotch Fan wrote: malty, sweet, no complexity whatsoever, a little smoke and not much else going for it. Quite boring.
That's the way I remember my bottle tasting like. It got mellower and sweeter with time but less malty.
This was one of my very first bottles so perhaps I'd find it better today. I'm sure I'll by another one some day as it's one of the cheapest 12yo's around my neck of the woods.
I should also say I'm finding less of the herbal/vegetal bitterness now, almost as though it's been replaced by the smoky notes.
As for the Glenkinchie, I found this a bit of a perfumy/soapy/spirity mess. Not my cuppa tea at all.
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