My wife, for whatever nonsensical reason, doesn’t like Scotch. More specifically, she doesn’t enjoy the peat and smoke, so dominant in my favorite Islays. Though to be fair, how those characteristics present themselves — on any level — determines to a large extent the quality of the whisky, which more often than not is good to amazing.
I poured her a dram of 86-proof Auchentoshan Three Wood Lowland Single Malt, matured in three cask types that once held bourbon, Spanish Oloroso sherry and Pedro Ximenez sherry.
“Now, I like this,” she said of the triple-distilled Scotch, which the company was gracious enough to send to me to review.
As is characteristic for Lowland Scotch, peat and smoke are in the background with, in this case, sherry oak out front, as is malted chocolate, sweet fruit and hints of citrus and butterscotch. Scotch purists may argue with its subtlety, yet it's still good whisky — smooth, sipable and, if you haven't had Lowland Scotch, certainly worth a try.
Auchentoshan also has released the limited-edition 94-proof Bartender’s Malt, composed of a blend of whiskies selected by the “New Malt Order, a collective of highly skilled, innovative bartenders from around the world who came together to create this product,” the company says. The flagship 80-proof Auchentoshan American Oak is matured in bourbon casks.
The Three Wood runs about $70; the American Oak around $40 and the Bartender’s Malt about $47.
Founded in 1823, triple-distilled Auchentoshan — pronounced “ock-un-tosh-un” — is Glasgow’s closest distillery. Auchentoshan means “the corner of the field” in Gaelic, a reference to the Lowland backdrop of the distillery between the Kilpatrick Hills, Loch Lomond and the city.
Each of these offerings — I’m told — is great in cocktails. Check out the distillery’s site at ScotchCocktails.com for bartending tips and recipes.