Watt Whisky Single Casks (Auchroisk and Clynelish)

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Introduction

Watt Whisky are an independent bottler of Scotch whisky and other spirits, based out of Campbeltown on the west coast of Scotland.

This is part 2 of my review of their latest batch. For part 1, in which I reviewed a Loch Lomond single malt and Dumbarton single grain please click here.

*Full disclosure: the samples reviewed in this article were sent to me free of charge. As always I will strive to give an honest opinion on the dram and the value for money it represents.


Auchroisk 13 Year Old Single Malt

Auchroisk is a Speyside distillery that was established in the 1970s. Official bottlings are few and far between with most of the spirit being used in Diageo blends like J&B.

This single malt was distilled in 2008. It has been matured for a total of 13 years with six months of that time spent in a Tawny Port cask. Bottled at 54.9%, there are 318 bottles available.

Smell: Berries. Raspberry. Blackcurrant. A touch of struck matches. Almost a little sulphury. Bread baking in the oven. Scones. Baking spices like ginger and cloves. Honey. Pepper. Oak.

Taste: Fruit jam. Raisins. Pepper and subtle chilli powder. Fruity and oaky in almost equal measure. Toffee. Madeira cake. Nutmeg and ground ginger. Grapes. Orange liqueur.

Thoughts: Those were six very active months in that port cask. It almost feels more like a Ruby Port than a Tawny. I tend to think of Tawny being more towards the woody, nutty end but there’s so much fruity, berry, jam notes here. It’s not one-dimensionally port though, in fact the balance between fruit and spice is very pleasant and there’s a nice progression from fruity arrival to spicy mid-palate to woody finish. I found the spice quite intense on the first few sips but that settled down, especially with a wee bit of water added. A fully-flavoured festival of fruitiness.

Value for money: You will pay around £70 for the pleasure of owning a bottle. That’s not bad for a 13-year-old malt. Auchroisk may not be the most fashionable (or pronounceable) distillery but its whisky should not be overlooked. Especially when it’s as good as this.


Clynelish 10 Year Old Single Malt

Clynelish is a distillery near Brora in the north-east of Scotland. It is classed as a Highland distillery. Originally established in 1819 it is now owned by Diageo with much of its spirit being used in Johnnie Walker blends.

This single malt was distilled in 2011 and bottled 2022. It has been aged for 10 years in a barrel before being bottled at 59.5%. There are 210 bottles available at a cost of around £85.

Smell: New oak. Orange. Peach. Caramel. Ginger biscuits. Cayenne pepper. Apple juice. Some of that typical Clynelish waxiness. Malty. Almond flakes. A bit of dry grass.

Taste: Lots of woody spice. Orange liqueur. Red apples. Olive oil. Malty biscuits. Grainy, buttery texture. Honey. Bit of toffee. Tablet. Ginger and nutmeg add some warmth.

Thoughts: Leans more towards new oak than it does sweet bourbon. Almost feels more like a virgin cask than a bourbon barrel at points. Clynelish is always interesting and this carries some trademark characteristics, especially on the nose. I don’t know that the taste was quite as intriguing as the aroma but that’s no crime and it still made for a pleasant drinking experience. Not an instant crowd-pleaser but one I suspect would reveal new layers the longer you spent with it.

Value for money: It’s priced around £85 which isn’t extreme for a 10-year-old single cask, especially not one from a distillery as interesting as Clynelish. For me personally, I think there are others in the batch that appeal more but this will no doubt find its audience.



For more on Watt Whisky visit https://wattwhisky.com/


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