Thanks to /u/devoz and /u/xile_ for this sample
Quick recap, if you haven’t read the last 2 reviews (Skip to the Bold part that says “START HERE” otherwise).
Recently I made a point of stating that, if given an Arran, I’d identify the profile. This started both devoz and xile_ thinking, which is never good for me.
You see, recently devoz acquired a smoke gun. From what little I understand of it, it’s a gun that shoots smoke. Because he’s amazing at cocktails. And that’s needed.
So they took this as a challenge. What I should have said was “I can identify an Arran profile from a whisky that hasn’t been fucked around with, specifically by a smoke gun”. Oh well, hindsight.
As such, I was handed three samples, blind. No idea what they were. At all. I knew they were alcohol, and samples to be reviewed. Beyond that? Could have been anything.
So at this point I’ve been informed that everything sent to me was, in fact, whisky. What kind of whisky? Canadian and Arran. As such, I was quite surprised.
So diving in I kept that nice tidbit in mind. Let’s see how I do next.
Price: N/A anywhere
Colour: 10YR 6/8
Nose: Pear, corn husks, Korean pineapple cake, sticky buns, juniper bush
Hmm, more to this one. It starts out with more pear and has fruit throughout it. There’s an odd juniper twinge to it though.
Wait, is this a whisky finished in gin casks? Cause that’d be cool. Probably not though, as it seems to have some sherry influence to it. Or what I assume is sherry.
Taste: Peach, caramel, ash, basil, vanilla, floral funk, raspberry jam
Probably the most complex of the bunch. I think there’s different casks affecting this, as I’m getting big vanilla notes with big stone fruit notes. Lots of ash too. Maybe an ex-peated cask?
Finish: Ash, burnt meat, brine, hot pepper raspberry jam, rosemary
Yeah, thinking an ex-peated cask at this point. It has heat to it, nothing that burns the smoke into the DNA, and some herbal notes. Less so than the last.
Conclusion: So I thought this may be an ex-peated cask, and was close (ish). The applewood smoke works with the sherry smoke, the Canadian peat does some odd, almost juniper like things, and overall we ended up with something better than the last two reviews.
Comparing to the un-smoked version, I see that the sweet aspects (sickly in some cases) are gone, and the earth is tuned up. Any floral is left, though with some funk. It’s less spicy, more meaty, and the sherry and applewood play off each other.
Of the whole bunch, I have to say I prefer a non-tea smoked whisky at the end of the day. If I was Auchentoshan, I’d be finding a way to malt some barley with applewood and peat. And maybe make it four casks, with gin being the fourth.
Granted I’d go mad with power.
Guess: Old Pulteney 1991 ex-peated cask?
Reveal: Auchentoshan Three Wood smoked with applewood & Canadian peat
Scotch review #723, Lowland review #36, Whisky Network review #1197
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