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Monday, November 28, 2016

Single Malt Report: Auchroisk 20 year old Limited Edition (2010)


Okay, okay. Stop shouting. I'll review more Auchroisk this week, damn it.

First up, is Diageo's limited edition release from 2010. Not too long ago, a number of retailers couldn't seem to give this one away, dishing out massive price cuts to clear this from their shelves, but finding limited success. In 2012, Diageo dropped another limited edition Auchroisk (a 30-year old) which is also still easily available throughout Europe. Not to be outdone, they released another Auchroisk limited edition this year, 25 years old but priced higher than the 30 year old. Um, if you're a retailer, are you really picking that one up too?

But what if the original, 20 year old, limited release was actually great? I'd like to find out. Many thanks to Brett, certified whisky fan from Riverside, for this opportunity to find out.


Distillery: Auchroisk
Ownership: Diageo
Range: Special Releases / Limited Editions
Region: Speyside (Central)
Age: at least 20 years
Maturation: American and European oak casks
Limited Bottling: 5856
Bottling year: 2010
Alcohol by Volume: 58.1%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? Not much, if any

The color is thankfully short on DiageoGold™. The nose leads with mangoes, canned pears, vanilla and cocoa. With 10-15 minutes of air, seashore and berry candy notes appear. Then York peppermint patties, toffee and pencil shavings. The palate has a lot of toasted oak and roasted malt. A citric tang, tobacco, toffee and a ginger beer buzz. It's both peppery and sweet. Slight notes of sherry cask and smoke after a while. Ah, plenty of nutty sherry in the finish. Malt, salt, cocoa, grilled meat. Lengthy sweetness meets subtle wood smoke.

WITH WATER (~46%abv)
The nose is much different, but remains high quality. Lemon, peach and apple skins, toasted malt. The palate now has more of the nose's fruit and a pleasant sweetness. Malty and gingery. Some dried fruit from the sherry casks. The finish is shorter and lighter, but more acidic. Mint, sugar, lemon candy and a hint of wood smoke.

This Auchroisk 20 year old was such a nice surprise. It has high quality ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks in the mix, lending a hand while letting the fruity maltiness sing through. Water turns up the fruit notes, but I think I prefer the neatness's complexity. It also drinks easily, considering its ABV. If you were smart and grabbed this when it was on sale, then enjoy! And if you're still looking for it, it's easily found.

Availability - a couple dozen retailers in the US and Europe
Pricing - $130-$160 Europe (w/o VAT, w/o shipping), $140-$225 US
Rating - 88