Auchentoshan Distillery Cask (53.8%): This is a 200ml. bottle I filled by myself during my visit to Auchentoshan Distillery last month. They always keep one cask in a showroom in one of the warehouses for visitors to fill their own bottles. It is a first fill ex-bourbon hogshead numbered 50, filled January 18th 2001 and I bottled it June 6th 2014 which makes the whisky thirteen years and six months old, give or take. At that time the hydrometer reading of the whisky was 53.8% abv. Color: Bright yellow gold with distinctive legs. Nose: Orange zest, lemon juice and pineapple chips. Refreshing and vibrant but a little bit mute. A few drops of water and Voilà..! Vanilla, toasted coconut flakes, lemon soda and Chiquita bananas. Lemon toffee and quince paste. It's much gentler now... Palate: Banana cream pie and lemon bars dusted with cinnamon. Adding water definitely tones it down and adds some new goodies: Lemon zest jam, unripe peaches and Catalan flan. Fresh apricots, wild flower honey, marzipan bars and fresh oak. Finish: Pretty long with crushed red pepper and fades out slowly with citrusy and creamy notes. Overall: It very much reminded me the Auchentoshan Valinch. It is no secret that I have a soft spot for whiskies matured exclusively in ex-bourbon barrels but I think this time we have a dram a little on the rougher side. Don't get me wrong though, it is a good whisky, as a matter of fact it is a very honest whisky... I always believe that ex-bourbon barrel maturation is a great way to show the bare naked characteristics of a distillery and that's exactly what we have here. It's refreshing, delicate, summery but at the same time hot and somehow unsettling. I hope Auchentoshan will release more expressions matured in ex-bourbon barrels in the future.