Dec 19, 2012

Auchentoshan Silveroak...

Auchentoshan Silveroak 1990, 21yo (51.5%): When I walked through the sliding doors of Edinburgh Airport the day after Thanksgiving it was 7AM in the morning, I had a long travel day ahead of me and I was miserably sick. All my plans to taste everything on the tasting table to pick one up to bring back home were down the drain. I was completely congested and had no sense of smell and/or taste whatsoever. After a few attempts I simply gave up and let Matt Cross the amazing whisky consultant of Edinburgh Airport Duty Free Shop choose a dram for me. And here we are: Auchentoshan Silveroak... It is a 21 years old whisky, distilled in 1990, aged in ex-bourbon and then in Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at a whopping abv of 51.5%. So, I have very high expectations for this dram. Color: Crystal clear. Clean, bright amber. Nose: Honeysuckle... Middle Eastern syrup and Greek thyme and flower honey. Cold unsweetened Jasmine flower tea and overripe green figs. This is a big nose. A few drops of water and beautiful grassy aromas fill in: germinated barley, freshly mowed lawn, shaved fennel and green almonds. Palate: It's pretty hot without the water addition. A big wave of spearmint and dark chocolate with banana fillings. Water opens it up and makes it more elegant: fresh bananas this time, pine nuts and rosemary. First time the whisky shows its age with creamy milk chocolate, lightly roasted Arabica beans and spicy toasted oak notes. The wood notes I am getting reminded me more of a fine but not so old armagnac. Finish: Long but not harsh... Fades out quietly with cooling peppermint and smooth chocolate notes. Overall: What a great Lowlander... A bottle that makes you feel good after carrying it all the way from the other side of the pond. Kudos to Matt Cross... Not drown in sherry casks and carries characteristics of both American and European oak barrels amazingly well in great balance. A perfect digestif with a cup of fine coffee, chocolaty dessert or a mellow cigar. Definitely a bottle to keep as long as I can. By the way I have to say that it was also pretty reasonably priced for a 21 year old whisky. If I remember correctly it costed me a little less than 90 Euro.