Auchentoshan releases a virgin oak whisky7th August, 2013 by Andy Young
Scotch whisky producer Auchentoshan is looking to “challenge entrenched beliefs” with the release of a whisky solely matured in virgin North American oak casks.
Since the millennium the distillery, which is part of Morrison Bowmore, has been placing small batches of its triple-distilled spirit in charred oak casks that have held neither Bourbon nor Sherry. Auchentoshan is the only Scotch distillery to triple-distil its spirit.
Auchentoshan brand ambassador Gordon Dundas said: “Auchentoshan is one of the few distilleries to produce a virgin oak single malt. The lightness of the triple distilled spirit makes it perfectly suited to absorbing the unique qualities of the charred virgin oak casks. The result is in a lowland whisky that subtle as well as complex in nature.”
Dundas told db that the virgin oak release is largely thanks to the work done by Morrison Bowmore’s master blender Rachel Barrie, who has been experimenting with different casks and that he thinks virgin oak could soon become a new global trend.
Dundas said: “This is a pioneering whisky and proves what can be done with wood.”
He added: “Every time you taste the Auchentoshan Virgin Oak, you can pick up different flavours. I think this new release will dispel a lot of myths surrounding the maturation process.”
Barrie has also released a fully matured virgin oak through Glen Garioch, another Morrison Bowmore brand, but there is no indication yet whether the Islay whisky Bowmore will also release a virgin oak expression.
With an initial wood spice and orange sweetness on the nose, the 46% abv Auchentoshan whisky delivers a thick mouth feel, which Dundas said was probably the impact of the wood. The whisky is non-chill filtered and is now available with an RRP of £69.99.