...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Auchroiskin' all week: Auchroisk 18 year old 1988 Blackadder cask #8954

This is a curious whisky. I'll list what I've observed. Here's the label, from whiskybase:
It has a different design than the usual Blackadder label, though they kept the font in the same family. The whisky was reduced to 46%abv (not the usual Raw-ass Cask approach), but somehow only 105 of these diluted bottles came from a hogshead which doesn't appear to have been split with anyone. And this is the first "Aberdeen Distillers" bottling I've seen. More do exist and they do appear to be a lightweight version of Blackadder bottlings, like a cross between Signatory's "Vintage Collection" and "Unchillfiltered" ranges.

So, it's a diluted Blackadder from a rarely seen (at least in my whisky shopping travels) range from a cask that may have had serious evaporation or leakage or fell victim to a warehouse worker's thirst. But it is Auchroisk and I'm having some Auchroisk luck recently. Thank you Florin, a prince, for this sample.

(UPDATE: Florin may have explained the weird bottle count issue in the comment section below. It seems likely there was at least a second release of this same cask...)

Distillery: Auchroisk
Ownership: Diageo
Region: Speyside (Central)
Independent Bottler: Blackadder
Range: Aberdeen Distillers
Age: 18 years (December 1988 - August 2007)
Maturation: Oak hogshead
Cask number8954
Limited bottling: 105
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No

Note: as per the photo above, I tried this alongside the whisky from the next review.

The nose is loaded with orange peel, white gummi bears and tropical fruit candy right up front. An undercurrent of brininess keeps things from getting too wild, but it remains fresh and crisp throughout. With time it picks up more lemons and a hint of overripe melon. The palate is malty, salty and tart. A bit sharp up front, creamy around the edges. Tropical fruit candy, sweet limes, apricots and a hint of oak. It has a nice long finish highlighted by peach, vanilla bean, baked pear, apricot preserves and a slight earthy note.

Damn. Whatever happened to this cask, Blackadder might want to (accidentally?) replicate it. In fact, I liked this more than most of the full-powered Blackadders I've tried. It's right up there with Monday's official 20 year old Auchroisk. So don't be weirded out by anything on the label, in fact pretend you didn't even read my intro.

Availability - ???
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87