Auchentoshan 18 year Single Malt
Ingrained in the human spirit is the desire to take home a souvenir from their travels. Or maybe it was successful marketing born 100 years ago, or perhaps the social acceptance of thievery. Who knows. But I knew that when I returned from Paris I wanted to bring home something special. Something I couldn't buy at home. One of those things was a bottle of Auchentoshan 18 year old scotch.
I bought this European standard size 700 ml bottle at La Maison du Whisky for the equivalent of $108 Cdn.
When I finally got around to opening it, I tried not to get excited. This was my first 18 year old scotch. So what happened? I was a little disappointed.
I sniffed for a VERY long time, unable to discern anything in particular. After a while my nose stopped working. I took a break, and when I went back to the glass I continued to have this problem. It was too tight. I couldn't detect anything. So I let it sit, open, for a day.
Back again there was a noticeable difference (and with half the bottle gone, I noticed an even bigger difference). A hint of vanilla. Sweet. Fruity. But very faint. Nothing very strong, all coming together beautifully.
The taste is immediately sweet and salty. I find the flavours extremely similar to the Auchentoshan 12 year old, only each flavour is a bit more vivid. Grass, nutty honey, ginger, the tiniest bit of smoke.
The finish is warm barley, dry and fades rather quickly. Way too quickly. Just makes you want to have another sip. And hey, that sounds like a great idea.
Rotten things have been said about Auchentoshan 18 y.o., things I thought were undeserving. While absolutely tantalizing, the 18 y.o. is extremely similar to the 12 year. There's just not enough of a distinctness to justify the price difference. Perhaps that is one of the reasons the LCBO does not carry it. But be forewarned, LCBO! Drop the Three Wood and I'll be throwing a king-sized, whisky-fuelled hissy fit.
A perfect, yet overpriced automatic DeLorean, for sale by an owner who's confused fantasy with reality. (Sound familiar Mr. Northern Ontario who wanted $45,000 back in 2003?) Look around and you'll find one just as nice for half the price.
LMDW: $108 Cdn equivalent
43% (86 proof)