Auchentoshan Three Wood
Auchentoshan Three Wood

Auchentoshan 3 Wood

What: As long as I have been collecting and enjoying scotch whiskey, I still get a bit confused on the different regions (and sub regions) that Scotland is broken into that defines where a particular scotch comes from. While I agree that there are differences from region to region, I find the differences a bit more subtle than what the marketing folks and distillery ambassadors would like you to think.

There are two distilleries producing scotch in the Lowland region, Auchentoshan and Glen Kinchie. My experience with lowland scotch has been “not good” at best. The whisky that I have had from this region is typically light and fairly dry without much character. The Lowland region is mostly known for producing whiskey for other distilleries to use in blending, they do produce a number of expressions for public distribution. I have always thought a region that is known for producing whiskey that is light and lacks any real character doesn’t scream “go buy me.” So for years I have stayed away from these whiskies — until now.

The Professor and I were at the Single Malt Whiskey Society of America whiskey tasting in Atlanta last year, and we were making our rounds and came to the distributors that represented Auchentoshan. They asked if we would like to try their whiskey. I politely said, “no thank you” (you have to remember there are 100 whiskies to taste, and you have to carefully pick your tasting choices) and started to move on, when one of them asked if I had tried the Three Wood. I said no, and he told me it wasn’t like any other whiskey they had made and promised I would like it. Well, that wasn’t the first time I had heard that at a tasting (and certainly wouldn’t be the last). We gave it a shot and were glad we did; he certainly didn’t lie about it being different, and it certainly was not what you would expect from a Lowland whiskey. It was a complete surprise in a good way. We made a mental note and decided it would be a near-future purchase.

This whiskey is called Three Wood simply because it has been matured in three different types of casks: American Bourbon, Spanish Oloroso Sherry, and Pedro Ximenez, as well as being triple-distilled. As I have written before, I’m not into the light and space of whiskey making, but I think that these attributes are a good start in making an above-average whiskey. After searching high and wide in the CSRA, I finally found it and picked up a bottle for the Professor and me. It took me a week or so to open it and give it a fair shake, and it was as I remembered from the tasting.

The nose is a reflection of its name; the wood notes come across in a big way. The aroma of the sherry and bourbon are just the beginning of what you breathe in; spicy honey, with a bit of orange peel, comes across with the malt rearing its head at the end. The first taste of this hits you a bit thin. I thought I was being deceived by my nose. I let it sit for a while, and it opened up. Its true colors came through, with a spicy soft-mouth feel that gave up a lot of sherry notes, with intense stone fruit flavors, with the wood coming through to balance it out, it finished with a warm semi sweet note that wasn’t as long as I would like but still satisfying. I added a few drops of water (as I always do on a second taste), just to see if the water gives me more than what I got the first time around, it opened up a bit more and revealed a few more layers but seemed to thin out a bit. I prefer it without water, but I would recommend trying it both ways and make your own mind up. I didn’t have a cigar with this but it would certainly be a good whiskey to have one with, something mild and not to overbearing.

This whiskey is a good example of a distillery trying something new and it working. I would recommend this whiskey for a few reasons. It’s a bit unique with the three different wood casks; it’s very approachable and easy to drink; more importantly it tastes great!!!!!
Distillery: Auchentoshan
From: Lowland, Scotland
Age: None Given
Proof: 96
Cost: $63
Purchased: Purchased Park Avenue Liquors in Aiken
Comments: Most stores don’t have it but it can be ordered.



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