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Founded in 1817 as the Duntocher Distillery, Auchentoshan stands proudly on the banks of the River Clyde, on the outskirts of the city of Glasgow. Founded by John Bulloch, the distillery’s early years were beset with financial problems. Bulloch was declared bankrupt and the future of the distillery looked uncertain at best. Fresh hope arrived in 1834 when the distillery was purchased by John Hart & Alexander Filshie. They renamed it Auchentoshan meaning ‘the corner of the field’.
Like so many of Scotland’s distilleries, Auchentoshan was to change hands repeatedly over the long decades of its existence. Between 1960 and 1969 it was run by the Tennents Brewery only for them to sell to Stanley P. Morrison, famously of Morrison Bowmore. Under his stewardship, Auchentoshan would at last find some stability and even today it remains part of the Morrison Bowmore group, albeit under the control of Beam Suntory Inc.
Auchentoshan is unique in Scotland as perhaps the only distillery to triple distil as a rule, a process more common in Irish Whiskey. Triple distillation creates an exceptionally light and delicate new make spirit.
A highlight of the distillery’s core range, ‘Three Wood’ is a fine single malt, matured first in ex-bourbon barrels before being transferred for an additional period of maturation, first in ex-Oloroso then ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.
Bottled at 43% abv, it is widely available in the UK for a price of around £45.
Smell: Strong Sherry notes like Raisins & Sultanas along with Fresh Fruit… Apple, Pear, Berries… Also some Creamy Vanilla and Toffee.
Taste: Cinnamon and Orange Zest, Dark Chocolate, more Sherry, Honey and Toffee.
Thoughts: £45 means we’re not quite in bargain basement territory here, but neither are we talking crazy money. It’s a decent whisky though and probably the stand out in Auchentoshan’s core range. Auchentoshan is a brand that doesn’t often hit the spot for me. As a fan of bolder flavour profiles, I think the lighter spirit just isn’t my style. Having said that, the Three Wood isn’t quite a sherry bomb but the cask finishes definitely add a bit of depth to the spirit. It’s the core bottling from this distillery that I’m most likely to reach for.
*If the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt here. Please be aware that as an affiliate I can be paid a small commission on any purchases you make after following links from my page. The whisky is also available from several other excellent retailers.