Posts Tagged ‘Auchentoshan’

WhiskyFest New York 2013 Seminar Topics Announced

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

I wanted to share with you our list of seminar topics and whiskies scheduled for the WhiskyFest New York 2013 weekend. The seminar program, outlined below, will take place on Saturday, October 12th.

Some of the whiskies are being produced and bottled just for this event–you won’t see or taste them anywhere else. They’re still “work in progress” and are identified as TBD (to be determined). We are very excited about the program and the whiskies. Hopefully you can join us. I’ll provide additional updates as we get closer to the event.

WhiskyFest New York 2013 Seminar Topics

Wanted: Dead or Alive

A tasting of rare whiskies: two from demolished distilleries and two from active distilleries. Industry experts will be on-hand to describe these whiskies and what makes them so special

Moderator: Jonny McCormick

  • Glenury Royal 23 yr. old, bottled in 1997. A rare bottling of single malt scotch from a distillery that last produced in 1983.
  • Stitzel-Weller bourbon (TBD). This legendary bourbon distillery closed in the early 1990s. We will taste something rare from the Diageo stocks that remain.
  • Kininvie (TBD). Relatively new distillery owned by William Grant and on the site of Glenfiddich and Balvenie, but rarely ever bottled and never imported to the U.S.
  • Sazerac 18 yr. old Rye. This is the first-ever release of this now legendary rye whiskey, Distilled in 1981 and  bottled in 2000.


Glenmorangie-Pride-1981LR-300x200Whisky Legend #1: Jimmy Russell

We spend time with Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, talk about life and whiskey, and taste a very special Wild Turkey whiskey selected by Jimmy.

Moderator: Lew Bryson



12 in all the World

The world’s best whiskymakers each produce just twelve bottles of a whiskey exclusively for WhiskyFest, never to be tasted anywhere else. Ever. (Whisky specifics TBD.)

Moderator: Dave Broom

  • Ardbeg
  • Balvenie
  • Highland Park
  • Aberlour


Auchentoshan 1979 OlorosoWhisky Legend #2: Jim McEwan

We spend time with Bruichladdich Whiskymaker Jim McEwan, talk about life and whisky, and taste a very special Bruichladdich selected by Jim just for this occassion.

Moderator: Dave Broom


Scotch & Chocolate

Whiskymakers collaborate with chocolatiers, each pairing a whisky with a specific chocolate. Both the whiskymakers and chocolatiers will be on the panel to discuss their parings. (Details on the whiskies and chocolates TBD.)

Moderator: Gavin Smith

  • Compass Box (Featuring John Glaser of Compass Box)
  • Glenmorangie (Featuring Dr. Bill Lumsden of Glenmorangie)
  • Dalmore (Featuring Richard Paterson of Whyte & Mackay)


Talisker lunch

We taste a special selection of four different Talisker whiskies.

Moderator: Dave Broom


Balvenie TUN1401-Batch5_ComboLR1-225x300Whisky Legend #3: Parker Beam

We spend time with Heaven Hill Master Distiller Parker Beam, talk about life, whiskey, and his recent diagnosis of ALS, and taste a very special whiskey selected by Parker.

Moderators: Lew Bryson & John Hansell


Where Whisky is Heading

Taste the hottest, cutting edge whiskies along with the master distillers and blenders who are making them.

Moderator: Dominic Roskrow

  • The evolution of US Artisan distilling: Anchor Hotalings
  • Bourbon Innovation: Something new and special from Buffalo Trace (TBD)
  • Japanese whisky boom: Something new to the U.S. from Japan’s Nikka whisky company.
  • The trend towards blended malts. Featuring Blue Hanger, Whisky Advocate Blend of the Year


The Best!

Taste several of the Whisky Advocate award winning whiskies, along with Whisky Advocate’s esteemed whisky writers who chose them.

Moderator: John Hansell

  • Glenmorangie Pride 1981 Vintage (>$3,000/bottle!): Gavin Smith
  • Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch: John Hansell
  • Auchentoshan 1979 Vintage: Gavin Smith
  • Balvenie Tun 1401: Dave Broom
  • Lot No. 40: Davin de Kergommeaux
  • Yellow Spot: Dominic Roskrow
  • Corsair Triple Smoke: Lew Bryson

(Please note: whiskies subject to change)

Whisky Advocate’s 19th Annual Award: Lowlands/Campbeltown Single Malt of the Year

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Auchentoshan 1979 Oloroso Sherry Matured, 50.5%, $550

There is a common misconception that lighter styles of single malt whisky, such as those distilled in the Lowlands, cannot cope with maturation in sherry casks without the distillery character being totally overwhelmed, resulting in a one-dimensional, sherry-laden dram.

This cask strength 1979 vintage expression from Auchentoshan, distilled on October 22, 1979 gives the lie to such views, as it has managed to AU_LE_1979_BotBoxCO-hiAuchentoshan Oloros Sherry 1979LRsurvive with its integrity more than intact for 32 years in former sherry casks, and first-fill oloroso sherry butts at that. It is a textbook example of sherry wood maturation at its most sympathetic.

When it comes to sherry cask aging, Auchentoshan already has lots of form, as Auchentoshan Three Wood — matured initially in bourbon barrels, then in oloroso sherry butts, and finally in pedro ximenez sherry casks — is a notably popular element of the core range, while sherry wood-matured spirit is a component of the 21 year old expression.

Additionally a limited edition, cask strength 18 year old from oloroso casks is still to be found in some outlets, and a number of well-aged vintage releases from suchcasks have taken place over the years. The oldest house bottling of Auchentoshan to date, a 50 year old 1957 vintage, was also aged entirely in oloroso wood.

Clearly, the triple-distilled Lowlander from the banks of the River Clyde has enough presence to thrive in sherry casks when the wood in question is chosen well. Oloroso casks probably have a greater effect on the character of maturing spirit than any other, and they give the Auchentoshan 1979 expression a rich amber color while adding muscularity to the body and dark, spicy fruitcake and toffee notes to the classic Auchentoshan orange, lemon, vanilla, and mildly herbal house character.  —Gavin Smith

Whisky Advocate’s Distiller of the Year will be announced tomorrow.

Another week, and more new whiskies!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

This time it’s two new ones from Glenrothes, two new ones from Auchentoshan, and one more from Glen Garioch. Details below from the PR companies. (Again, this is from a U.S. perspective.)

This will be the smokiest Glen Garioch ever released on the market.  The current ‘house style’ is not smoky/no peat but pre-1995 (when the distillery was closed for a bit), Glen Garioch used peat to dry it’s barley which imparted a smoky flavor.  Since this is the last vintage laid down before Glen Garioch closed, it is the smokiest you will ever taste from this Highland distillery. Ever.  Glen Garioch 1994 – approx $109.99.

A ‘valinch’ is the cellar master’s best friend. It’s the tube that goes into the cask to pull out samples for him to taste and determine if the whisky is ready for bottling.  The perfect name for this cask-strength version of Auchentoshan’s Classic expression.  Auchentoshan is the only triple-distilled malt in all of Scotland, making it smooth, smooth, smooth.  Valinch gives a kick though, because it’s cask strength.  Auchentoshan Valinch – approx $59.99.

This new expression is a rarity!  It’s not a rarity that a single malt is finished in a wine cask (that happens) but it is a rarity that a malt is 100% wine cask matured.  And this one is.  See what interesting flavors 11 years in a red wine cask imparts to this smooth, Lowland malt. Auchentoshan 1999 – approx $69.99.


The first one is a 1995 vintage release. The second one is an “Editor’s Cask” (This is a brand new limited-edition vintage, only 130 bottle for the US, coming out this winter for $250. The cask selected is Cask #9973. It’s a Spanish oak hogshead. Distilled in 1996 and bottled at 55.8% abv.)

Review: Auchentoshan 1998

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Auchentoshan 1998, 54.6%, $70

This 1998 vintage triple distilled Lowland Auchentoshan has been matured in fino sherry casks, which are rarely used for Scotch whisky maturation. The nose presents violets in fresh soil, honey, spice, developing citric fruit notes, and almonds. Quite full-bodied, fruity and zesty in the mouth. Lengthy in the finish, with spice, nuts, and oak. Becoming dry and gingery at the last. –Gavin Smith

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 85

photo courtesy of Morrison Bowmore Distillers

Brief updates on Glenrothes, Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch, and Bowmore

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

These updates for the the U.S. market.

The new Glenrothes 1994 vintage, which is replacing the 1991 vintage, is now getting into distribution. The 1985 vintage will be relpaced  by a 1988 vintage later this year.

The Glen Garioch 8, 15 and 21 year old whiskies are now gone. They’re being replaced by a 1797 Founder’s Reserve (NAS), 46% ( $45), and a 12 year old, 48% ($60). The whisky should roll out in about a month.

And for Bowmore Legend enthusiasts: stock up now! The price is going up.

Finally, I blogged about Auchentoshan beer here back in November. Auchentoshan installed a small brewery just to make beer for a festival at the distillery. Well, the’ll be making beer again at this year’s festival in August. But, the big news is that they plan on installing a full-time operating brewery at the distillery in 2011.


Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Auchentoshan beerYes, Auchentoshan beer!

Knowing that I am an enthusiast of all things malt (and that I was actually a beer writer before writing about whisky), my contact at Morrison Bowmore Distillers sent me two bottles of an ale that was made at the Auchentoshan distillery.

I cracked open the first bottle the other night and enjoyed it very much. Above is a very rudimentary picture I took of it with my Blackberry shortly before I drank it. (It was a little yeasty–my fault for not letting the bottle settle before drinking it–but I was too eager to drink it.)

Here are the specifics on the beer, directly from Jeremy Stephens, Head Distiller at Auchentoshan.

I spent several week putting together different recipes and doing small scale brews of around 17 litres.

After a few dodgy batches, I was finally happy with two recipes, which became Summer Gold and Triple Conditioned Ales.

I then bought in a few new pieces of kit and converted the yeast store into ‘The Brewery’.

A summary of the process is outlined below:

The malted barley is mashed in the distillery mash tun and the wort is transferred into the washbacks as usual.

A few buckets of the incoming wort are taken from the wort transfer line and poured into two 100 litre stainless steel boilers.

The gravity of the wort is usually too strong for ale production, so it is diluted with water to a lower starting gravity.

The temperature of the wort is raised to around 65 degrees C and a small amount of crystal malt is added and held for 30 minutes.

The temperature is then increased to 100 degrees C and brought to the boil.

At this point, the bitterness hops are added to give the beer its characteristic bitter taste.

After 45 min of boiling, copper finings are added to help precipitate and remove the hop solids to help give a clearer starting liquid.

After a further 15 min of boiling, the boilers are turned off and the late hop is added to give the desired fruity aroma.

This is then left to infuse for a further 30 min.

The hopped wort is then cooled on transfer to a 200 litres stainless steel fermenter (essentially just a big cylindrical bucket!) to around 20 degrees C and ale yeast is added.

Once full, the fermenter is moved into the tun room where the wort is fermented for around 2 days and the gravity drops to around 1008.

Towards the end of the fermentation, two lots of finings are added to the green beer to help remove the solids to give a presentable ‘bright’ beer.

The clearer beer is then transferred into pressure kegs, where a small amount of primings are added to facilitate secondary fermentation and are left to warm condition for 3 days.  The pressure is let off the kegs after around 24 hours to release any unwanted gases and resealed and conditioning continues.

The kegs are then moved to cold storage for around a week, after which time, the beer becomes clear, fizzy and drinkable (at least, I think so!)  We normally get around 150 litres of beer per batch.

The beer is then either left in keg, from where it was dispensed as cask ale at the Festival or transferred into bottle along with a tiny amount of primings for bottle conditioning.  The cask ale can be drunk immediately, but the bottles are best left for around 3 weeks to lose their sweetness and allow proper conditioning in bottle.

The Triple Conditioned is made similarly, but with more malt adjuncts, different hops and is primed with 3 substrates: honey, wort and sugar (hence the name ‘Triple Conditioned’).

The biggest problem was to ensure consistency as each batch performed slightly differently.

I will aim for a lower final alcohol concentration next year, as although the beer is very drinkable in bottle for the first 3 months, it does take on a much fuller body with less fruit and more malt as it ages.  Reducing the alcohol content to around 4.5% abv would help reduce the ‘syrupy’ nature of the aged beer.  However, beer drinkers who like a strong, fizzy ale would probably be advised to leave the bottle for a few months to achieve these flavour changes.  I gave the best before date as 5th October as I didn’t have time to do proper ‘forcing tests’ (shelf-life tests), so didn’t want to take any chances with the general public complaining the beer had gone off!  However, it should be good until well after Christmas.

Please remember to put the beer in the fridge for a short while (10 to 12 degrees C is optimal or below 6 degrees C if you’re entertaining lager drinkers) and keep it upright as it does contain a small amount of sediment.  Please also pour carefully as it is likely to be quite gassy now, and you don’t want to bring the sediment at the bottom of the bottle into the glass (unless, like many beer enthusiasts, you like the natural flavours and haze of the yeast and other settled products).

We sold 850 pints of Summer Gold Ale and 170 pints of Triple Conditioned Ale in 6 hours at the Festival – that’s a pint every 20 seconds!

We also packaged 750 bottles for sale, of which 250 were sold at the Festival and all but 9 of the remaining 500 bottles were sold in the shop.  You have 2 of the remaining 9 bottles. 

Yes, and now I have just 1 of the remaining 8 bottles! 🙂  Cool stuff going on at the distilleries.