There’s a funny custom in my family, and I am half proud and half ashamed that it exists. Basically said, we almost never give someone their gift for their birthday or Xmas remotely close to the date. I’ve been given many a gift in August for my previous birthday more times than I can count (my birthday is in December).
I had thought now that I am married to someone who is organized when it comes to birthdays and Xmas that I would break this tradition. Well, I thought that before I finally got around to bringing my buddy out last night for his 28th birthday, which was last August.
We went back to a place called Feather’s Pub. For those of you who missed me gushing about this place in my last two reviews, Feather’s is a 400+ Scotch pub in Toronto that also has amazing British pub fare. Feather’s offers something called the Feather’s Flight, and I purchased one for my buddy and one for myself. I’m going to review one of each of these Scotches this week, starting with the Auchentoshan 21 year old.
You can feel free to find out which ones will come next on their website above, however I ask that you keep it in spoilers in the comments so that those people who want to be surprised are, in fact, surprised.
I have a little bit of experience with Auchentoshan, as I’ve tasted the 12 year before, and sampled some of the Classic in the past (no review yet). Ignoring their Limited and Travel releases, this is the oldest of the traditional range.
Colour: Dark Mahogany
Nose: Chocolate, tulips, grapes, fizzy lemon drops
Light nose here, and at first I was worried that someone had handed us the wrong Scotch. I was expecting big, giant floral and fruit notes, however it ends up having very low fruity and floral notes, with chocolate dominating. And when I say dominating, I mean showing up on time and actually talking to you, while the rest of the nose hides from you or shows you a picture of a flat tire and runs away. I let it breathe for quite awhile, and even covered the other Scotch to ensure I wasn’t missing anything.
Taste: Lots of Pepper, orange, ginger, molasses, honey, lime, habañero, kiwi, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon
Out of nowhere there’s some flavour here! The pepper takes over right away, mingling with the sweetness and playing with the volume throughout. I like how complex this is. The sweetness I’m used to from this distillery is balanced. Very good taste, however the pepper can throw you off unless you give it time to calm down.
Finish: Oak, salt, nutmeg, Scorned Woman sauce, white vinegar, smoked salmon
Long, long finish on this one. The pepper is still going on, and the smoked salmon is a new dimension that I haven’t tasted before in a Scotch. Oh, and if you’ve never had Scorned Woman Sauce, it’s a very, very hot sauce, and quite wonderful. It takes over quite a bit here. I love spicy stuff, so I didn’t mind the one note too much. The finish doesn’t live up to the taste.
Conclusion: I had some hopes for this one as I know I’m not that big of a Lowland fan, but a 21 year should be amazing, and could really increase my interest in the region. My thoughts on Lowlands is that they’re always so light and fruity, which isn’t something I typically like in a sipping alcohol.
Well, this one ends up with this peppery blast, so that’s different. It’s almost like some odd Caesar (or Bloody Mary if you’re from the US) going on, only made with Whisky. Even now, after the fact, it’s hard to describe everything that really went on. The taste is amazing by itself, which is nice, however, as I’ve said too many times, the low alcohol content has caused another lost opportunity. I’m going to try and find some of the Limited Editions that are Cask Strength and see if the flavour can grow some more. Until then, I can’t really recommend this unless you love this distillery, which in that case why are you taking the advice of some peathead?
Scotch review #16, Lowland review #2, Whisky Network review #23
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