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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Bea's Birthday Booze: Auchroisk 38 year old 1982 SMWS 95.39

If you're reading this, I have survived food poisoning, Yom Kippur, and Beatrice's birthday party. Maybe.

Like the '65 Glenfarclas, today's Auchroisk was consumed before the aforementioned entertainment. In fact, two whiskies were Taste Off adversaries. Auchroisk is less famous than Glenfarclas, as well as 95% of the rest of the Speyside distilleries, possibly because Diageo smuggles it all into J&B. J&B was a mighty fine blend in the 1960s, but Auchroisk was born in 1974. Yet can we blame this distillery (which is younger than some of my readers) for J&B's decline? I say, "no!", without any proof. And I do hope you enjoyed this paragraph's journey.

Distillery: Auchroisk
Ownership: Diageo
Region: Speyside (Central)
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 38 years (15 Jan 1982 - 2020)
Maturation: refill sherry butt
Cask #: 95.39
Outturn: 477 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 53.0%
(from a bottle split)


The nose begins with flowers and fruits: roses, citrons, cherries, plums and dried apricots. It then gains mild notes of fudge and freshly rolled cigars with time. Mango arrives first in the palate, then apricots, followed by lots of tart fruits. Tart berries, tart nectarines and lemons. It finishes salty and tart, with some of the palate's fruits, though no mango. Tannins creep up with time.

DILUTED to ~48%abv,  >½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Dilution tightens the nose's focus, while adding a salty/beachy note. Still full of roses and stone fruits, but now with a dash of marzipan underneath. The palate gets bitterer and tarter. Lots of toasted oak, with its spices and nuts. The finish matches the palate, with the tannins leading.


When neat, this whisky is nearly a 90-pointer until oak keeps the finish from sticking the landing. I approached dilution with a gentle hand, finding the nose improving and the palate declining. Again, the finish fell short. Despite this negativity, I really enjoyed the fruity side of this Auchroisk's palate, and could nose the glass all night. I'm left wondering if this would have been even more glorious if bottled 5-10 years earlier.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87