auchentoshan 12 years

Auchentoshan 12 Years (2022)

It’s been almost five years since Auchentoshan last featured on these pages. And I’ve never reviewed the Auchentoshan 12 Years, arguably the distillery’s flagship expression. Maybe there’s a reason for that?

Auchentoshan’s claim to fame is that they’re the one distillery in Scotland to triple distil their entire output. As a consequence, their new make spirit sits at an impressive 81%, much higher than the average Scottish distillery. It’s an interesting distinction and a unique selling point they’ve wholeheartedly embraced. The distillery happily emphasizes triple distillation is more time-consuming, more expensive, and absolutely unique. Which isn’t false. But triple distillation isn’t better (or worse). It’s just a different method.

Anyway, reading between the lines, you might get the feeling I’m not particularly enamoured by Auchentoshan. And you would be right. This is a distillery that hasn’t yet won me over. The triple distillation is interesting, but I struggle to find other hooks. And yet, it’s a hugely successful brand that’s in the Top 20 best-selling Scotch single malts in the world. There is an audience for their lighter, accessible style. I’m just not sure if I am part of that audience.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the Auchentoshan 12 Years. Matured in… Who knows? I can’t find any information anywhere.

auchentoshan 12 years closeup

Auchentoshan 12 Years (40%, OB, 2022)

Nose: Light grassy, floral notes with a touch of cereals, caramel, some yellow apple and a whiff of honey, but also just some faint lemon zest and cardboard. I’m not against this at all.
Taste: Gentle would be the polite description. But weak is probably more honest. Quite a bit of honey, some caramel, and a hint of oak spices. But it all fades very quickly.
Finish: Short. Ginger, baking spices and fudge.

I had no issue at all with the nose, and actually think it's quite enjoyable. However, the palate is rather weak and uninteresting, devaluing the experience the Auchentoshan 12 Years has to offer.

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