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Auchentoshan PX vs Oloroso



Auchentoshan is a Lowland whisky and frankly doesn't get much love from connoisseurs. There are, however, some very good hogshead casks from the 1960s that are well reviewed (this, this, and this for example). Auchentoshan was acquired by Suntory in the mid-90's, and the tour is recommended if you're in the area (its extremely close to Glasgow)! I haven't had a ton of whisky from this distillery, but they seem to do sherry casks quite well, and the standard Three Wood bottling is quite nice on a winter evening next to a fireplace 🔥



Like many distilleries, as part of the tour they offer the chance to hand fill a distillery bottling straight from the cask. Today's tasting will be a head-to-head of two distillery exclusives - one being from this very cask above (cask 135)!


On to the tasting:

Distillery: Auchentoshan

Vintage: 2008

Bottling Date: 2017

Cask Type: Oloroso Sherry, cask 34

ABV: 59.9%

# bottles: not stated

Bottled for: Distillery exclusive

Auction price at time of writing: No data

Original Retail Price: ~$80


Nose

Baklava, almonds, vanilla, very rich, oak spice, orange, black licorice, candied ginger, almond croissant, fermented mash (a tour note)

With water: dried beef jerky, vanilla, almond, granola

-85-


Palate

A slight sour note, ginger, leathery teriyaki beef Jerky, blood orange, white chocolate and raspberry, cashew

With water: more balanced, almonds and meats and some pomegranate juice

-86-


Finish

Almond croissant with the thick almond paste (even more specific than the nose!), very light oak spice, orange cream, more dried fruits, spicy

With water; that almond pastry and oak plus a potpourri of dried fruits

-84-


Thoughts: while I enjoyed this whisky, and there was a lot going on, it wasn't extremely cohesive and I had to strain to get some of those extra notes above. Overall, a well done sherry cask that for $80 I feel is a good value.

Final Score = 85

Distillery: Auchentoshan

Vintage: 2005

Bottling Date: 2017

Cask Type: PX Sherry, cask 135

ABV: 59.8%

# bottles: not stated

Bottled for: Distillery exclusive

Auction price at time of writing: No data

Original Retail Price: ~$80


Nose

Rich (much more candy like than the oloroso), raspberry chocolates, caramel, milk chocolate from a krackle bar (childhood favorite mind you), dried figs and oranges, candied ham

With water; cinnamon spice. Orange liqueur, raspberry balsamic

-85-


Palate

Very similar sour note compared to the Oloroso, then very sweet red sherbets, freeze dried strawberries, balsamic, orange

With water: stickier but also more fermented. Sort of metallic. Better without water

-84-


Finish

The balsamic continues. Black tea bitterness, caramel, chewy and raspberry figs. Nice finish

-84-


Thoughts: Sweeter than the Oloroso, but also has a modern sherry metallic tinge which detracts. If I ignore that, its quite good and again, for $80 I think its a good value.

Final Score = 84.3

Overall, I can't complain and the price was right. PX vs Oloroso is always fun, and they were both very drinkable 😁


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