The SMWS bottling marked 5.39 and titled “A vibrant promise of Spring” was shared with us in the Maltstock masterclass by John McCheyne, of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Distilled on 8 March 1999 at the Auchentoshan distillery, aged for 15 years in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead, and then 256 bottles filled at 58,7% for us all to enjoy. This is what they are telling us about this whisky…
The unreduced nose had a profusion of flowers – we tumbled out of a flower-shop into a park – then we took refuge in a sweetie shop (rainbow drops, lemon bonbons, vanilla fudge, caramel, fruit pastilles, flying saucers and Kendal mint cake – mmmm!). The palate was zesty and lively – lemon, woody ginger spice and subtle rose-water – all wrapped in tasty sweetness. With water, the nose caught the vibrant thrum of the promise of Spring – blossoms, cut grass and elderflower, plus glacé cherries, hob-nobs and marshmallows. The palate fell into place like a completed jigsaw – liquorice, flowers, honey and oak. A well-balanced Glasgow dram. Drinking tip: An aperitif, or after a walk in the park – or just a good session dram.
Well, it proves again that taste is personal, because I don have a clue what flying saucers, Kendal mint cake, hob-nobs or rainbow drops are. But I know I did like this one for sure. A great Auchentoshan dram. What I did get out of it is that it has a soft and fruity nose with a bit salty note like salted caramel. Combine that with liquerish wood, some rich fruit smoothie notes, laurel and vanilla. Add fudge, honey and light oak for some more sweet and lovely notes. With some water added it gets silky sweet and soft. Lovely dram, that I would have loved to sit longer with to discover more in it. Scoring me for a quick taste at the festival an 7,5 out of 10.