|Scotland, Central Speyside
|Hunter Laing & Co.
|Single Barrel Single Malt
|52.6% (105.2 Proof)
|K&L Wine Merchant
This cask strength Speysider came out of a refill hogshead hotheaded and with a temper even after 21 years of ageing. Auchroisk doesn’t do a lot of official releases and most of it seems to go straight into J&B so it’s usually only available in this form of an independent bottling. I find them to generally be on the brighter and sharper side but, of course, it’s hard to tell if that’s the real distiller profile with such limited exposure.
Nose: Hothothot! Ok, phew, that was just the first hit fresh out of the glass. Now I can actually smell something… lemon batter mixed with straw? Hard to get much out of this… after that initial violent burst of alcohol it settles into a somewhat restrained state. (7.8/10)
Palate: A small, fiery, angry black hole centered on the middle of my tongue seems to draw everything around it inwards while refusing to give anything up. There’s a compact, spatially contained fierceness to it. Then some bright flavors. But everything seems to want to stay low following a flat profile across my tongue. I would have expected this one to expand upwards but it’s simply not wanting to do anything like that until much later. Some chewing and swishing finally unleashes this beasty and releases it to freedom. It still doesn’t want to expand upwards but rather drives a heated cloud of flavor straight into the back of my throat. I can’t pinpoint the notes but it’s good and still vaguely related to the batter from the nose. Perhaps we’re baking the lemon-straw tart now? (8.6/10)
Finish: A few sips in I become aware of a burgeoning heat in the back of my throat that later fills up with flavor as well. The heat manages to push and plow its way down behind my sternum until it reaches almost all the way to my solar plexus. (8.2/10)
Balance: There’s a bit of a struggle involved in coaxing this one out of its fiery, angry shell. But it’s worth it. If only the nose gave up a little more of the treasures and secrets hidden deep inside its tense and fiery little heart. (8.2/10)