Auchentoshan 12 Years is the entry malt for the Auchentoshan distillery which is one of only 3 remaining Lowlands distilleries after the whisky market crash that caused a rash of distillery closures in 1983. Like many of the now defunct Lowlands distilleries, Auchentoshan practices a triple distillation which is a fairly common practice in Ireland, but much less so in Scotland where the majority of distilleries practice a 2x distillation.
This triple distillation method lead Auchentoshan to be a favored whisky among blenders because of its light blendable quality and that same quality was a common sticking point with detractors of the old 10 year. The current 12 year however seems to be a bit heartier of a whisky. I can’t say for sure if I’ve had the old 10, but the Auchentoshan 12 has been one of my go-to cheap pours at bars for a couple years. I’ve always enjoyed it, but I’ve never sat down, really thought about what’s going on in the glass and do a proper Auchentoshan 12 Years review… until now.
Auchentoshan 12 Years Info
Region: Lowlands, Scotland
Mashbill: 100% Malted barley
Age: 12 years
Sample from the Five Flavors of Scotch Flaviar pack.
Auchentoshan 12 years Review
Nice aroma of malt, savory spices, fruit, butterscotch, overripe citrus and a general oily earthiness. It’s not super complex, but it has a nice weight to it that makes it come across as bold.
Similar to the nose the palate comes across oily and filled with notes of malt, overripe fruit, savory spice, butterscotch and brown butter along with a touch of vanilla and that same general oily earthiness.
Medium length and malty with notes of buttered toast and toffee.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good balance, round body and a heavy oily feel.
Auchentoshan 12 Years is a single malt with a pleasant amount of character. It’s a whisky that I wouldn’t say I’ve been avoiding reviewing, but I haven’t exactly gone out of my way to secure a bottle so I was incredibly happy to see it show up in the Flaviar tasting kit I was sent – which is a neat thing in and of itself.
As a general rule I like the darker side of whisk(e)y. In American whiskey I like a bolder wood and rye grain influence that gives a whiskey those earthy, spicy and dark fruit notes. In single malts I like first fill sherry cask whisky that has those dark wine, cocoa and ashy notes or Islay whiskeys with their inky peat. I also like darker non-peated-non-heavily-sherried single malts like Craigellachie and this Auchentoshan 12 Years fits firmly in that last category; it’s completely enjoyable from first sniff to last sip.
Auchentoshan 12 years Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 85
- Palate - 87
- Finish - 86
- Balance, Body & Feel - 87
Auchentoshan 12 years is a nice oily malt and while it isn’t very complex it is a fun dram that’s easy to drink and full of character. A decent buy if you can nab it for under $70.