The second edition in Auchentoshan’s Bartender’s Malt, which is created through a partnership between Master Distiller Ron Walsh and Auchentoshan’s crack team of competition winning bartenders, known as the New Malt Order. Auchentoshan state that this range is “by bartenders, for bartenders”.
The theme of cocktail competition this year was “Fermentation”, with bartenders challenged to create a cocktail using a fermented ingredient that reflected their city in some way. For example, the winning bartender for the London region, Charles Roche, created a sparkling wine made with Werther’s Original toffees.
Unlike the first edition of this series, the bartenders collaborated on one blend, rather than blending together their individual offerings. Each bartender was allocated a barrel – chosen for them based upon their responses to a questionnaire, rather like a matchmaking service! Six additional casks were presented, and these 18 barrels would make up the final product.
Being an Auchentoshan, this whisky is of course triple distilled.
Amongst the casks used were a 1966 refill hogshead, a 1980 1st fill sherry butt, wine casks, Pedro Ximenez, port and Marsala casks, and a special 2012 first fill Bourbon barrel “fermentation experiment”.
The final result is an incredibly creamy and rich single malt, with notes of butterscotch, chocolate, tobacco smoke, citrus, cut grass, flowers, ginger, cherry, old port, orange juice, funky beer-like notes, pastry, dates cinnamon, cloves, almond and a little drying saffron.
Bottled at 50% ABV, this is an intense dram that does brilliantly in cocktails, but is well worth drinking neat.
A really fascinating offering.