Scotland’s most southerly region is home to a small, but growing number of distilleries. Many of these producers are newcomers, just getting started making whisky that is years away from maturity, while others are well-established and familiar to many scotch drinkers. If you can’t make it to the region to tour its whisky trail, get a taste for the Lowlands with some of these single malts.
Auchentoshan 12 year old—84 points, $45
The nose offers tropical fruit and honeyed vanilla, emerging nuts, and dried spice, banana, and almonds. The texture is slightly oily, and the palate features tangerines, caramel, vanilla, and fat cereal notes. Rounded and balanced, with a long, drying finish.
Auchentoshan American Oak—83 points, $40
An initial note of rosewater on the nose, then Madeira, vanilla, developing musky peaches, and icing sugar. Spicy fresh fruit on the palate, chili notes, and more Madeira and vanilla. The finish is medium in length, and spicy to the end.
Bladnoch Talia 25 year old—88 points, $385
Finished in new American oak casks; it’s sweet and floral on the nose, with violets, Jaffa orange, and fragrant fresh oak. Medium to full-bodied, with rich fruit notes, praline, malt, and finally, raisins and prunes. Dark oak in the long, mouth-drying finish.
Glenkinchie 12 year old—81 points, $60
Notes of freshly cut grass, vanilla, bright lemon, cinnamon, and malt on the nose. Medium-bodied, with stewed fruits, vanilla, and a touch of oak on the palate. An herbal hint as the finish develops, before tapering into quite a lengthy, grassy finish.
Glenkinchie 2000 Amontillado Finish Distillers Edition—85 points, $92
Peaches, apricots, almonds, and soft ginger on the nose. Smooth and balanced on the palate; gently spiced and nutty, with cherries, caramel, discreet sherry, and vanilla. The medium-length finish features vanilla and lingering, spicy Jaffa oranges, drying slowly to oak. The amontillado gives a more rounded feel and greater profundity to the single malt.