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Duthies Auchroisk 20 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 46%
Malt whisky lovers should keep an eye out for the new offerings being released by the reputable Cadenhead firm under their 'Duthies' label. Mr Duthie was the nephew of William Cadenhead and ran William Cadenhead Ltd from 1904 until his untimely death in 1931. He was also the person most responsible for building the reputation of Cadenhead's as a bottler of single malts and rum. The Duthies 'Copper Still' collection presently includes independent bottlings of Auchentoshan, Caol Ila, Cragganmore, Glen Grant (Sherry wood matured), Glen Scotia, Mortlach (also exclusively matured in Sherry wood) and now Auchroisk. All the whiskies have been non chill filtered with no colouring added.
Virtually nobody has heard of this relatively new distillery, a venture of Justerini & Brooks (J&B), with construction completed in 1974. Presently owned by Diageo, the site is also used to mature casks from other distilleries (warehousing exists for over 265,000 casks). Most, if not all of the production goes into the J&B blend.
Auchroisk was first bottled as a single malt in 1986 under the 'Singleton' label, a name adopted because 'Auchroisk' was considered too difficult to pronounce. Unpeated malt is employed with maturation taking place mainly in refill hogsheads. Auchroisk bottlings remains rare. There are hardly any official expressions and even independent bottlings are hard to find. Combined, the quality, price and age of this whisky makes it one of the most curious to have hit our shelves this year.
Tasting note: Deep pale straw colour. Light aromatics are sweet and at first grassy followed by deeper scents of butterscotch, honeycomb and very ripe apricot. The palate is very concentrated and in the sweeter mould offering mildly fruity flavours with a spicy, gently warming mouthfeel. There's a very faint sulphury note that comes and goes, while the palate finishes dry. Over all the alcohol seems a little hot, but this is worth a try for its age and shows considerable youth for 20 years in oak. (Note: Unfortunately, and somewhat mysteriously, on returning to an open bottle of this whisky several months later, the sulphury notes had exacerbated to an unpleasant degree).
Other reviews...Deep straw colour with straw hue. Lifted aromas of fairy floss, coconut, hot buttered toast, nuts, a smidge of sulphur, salt and mixed peel. A curious combination, though endlessly appealing. The palate is plush and generous, with big, rich malty flavours of new leather, dried fruits, a plethora of spices and waxy apple. The booming finish gives the slightest of prickles before fading to a very lengthy, leathery, spicy aftertaste. An unusual, yet entirely adorable senior citizen.46% Alc./Vol. 93 points. - Ryan Marshman, www.ryansratings.net size=1>
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