Auchentoshan Announces UK Bartenders To Join The World’s First New Malt Order

 

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On Monday 19 September, seven of the UK’s most creative talent from behind top city bars went head-to-head to prove they have what it takes to become a founding member of Auchentoshan’s new global bartender club; New Malt Order.

This is no ordinary bartender competition; it’s so much more. The prize? To create the very first of its kind, a new limited edition Auchentoshan® expression for distribution in the on-trade in 2017. Created by bartenders, for bartenders.

Seven went behind the industrial chic bar of London’s experimental Peg + Patriot, two were left standing.

Jack Wareing from the capital’s award-winning Dandelyan and Georgia Billing from Plateau in the heart of the city’s business district proved victorious.

Welcome to your UK bartenders. Welcome to the New Malt Order.

 

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Georgia Billing from Plateau

 

UK FINALS
Shortlisted bartenders from across the UK unleashed their fearless ingenuity to create the refreshingly different Auchentoshan & Ale, using their own bespoke bitters created to give a new spin to the single malt’s signature serve.

Mike Aikman; Owner of Bramble, Last Word Saloon and Lucky Liquor Co, John Cashman; International Brand Ambassador for Beam Suntory, and Amanda Humphrey; Mixxit Brand Ambassador scored each serve against three criteria; Artisanal, Alternative and Approachable.

The bartenders went on to let their individuality run riot to create a bespoke cocktail that enhances the smooth and versatile single malt – triple-distilled to every last drop.
Jack Wareing and Georgia Billing demonstrated their flair for shaking up the world of single malts with inventive bitters recipes and whisky cocktails that saw them triumph in the first annual New Malt Order competition.

This year, they will join 10 exceptional bartenders from around the world to form the Auchentoshan® New Malt Order 2016.

Georgia Billing said of her win; “I entered Auchentoshan’s New Malt Order competition to meet other bartenders who experiment with the chemistry involved in making bitters. It’s inspiring to see what drives like-minded people. Not all botanicals react in the same way to spirits, infusion techniques, ABV and other variables; any discussion can only aid progression. This competition is a fantastic opportunity to learn about manufacturing techniques like blending and distillation. I’m looking forward to being a part of it and meeting the other New Malt Order bartenders. I hope I can give back as much as I can learn!”

Mike Aikman commented; “To involve bartenders in the creation of a new whisky is an innovative idea and one which I will follow with interest. It’s an incredible honour for the New Malt Order winners to get to spend time with the Auchentoshan Master Blender, Rachel Barrie, and have their own product on back bars in the future.

“Jack’s presentation was very well thought out and he used interesting ingredients. His was the only ‘savoury’ drink we saw, which was an excellent showcase for the tasting profile of Auchentoshan Three Wood. Georgia’s scientific approach was unique. Her bitters were excellent and her second drink was proof that sometimes keeping drinks simple is the best tactic.”

John Cashman added; “As Auchentoshan is the only single malt triple-distilled to every last drop, we are looking for bartenders who also like to do things differently, are not afraid to challenge the status quo and use our whisky to make exceptional drinks. Jack brings a classic modern bartending skill, while Georgia brings a scientific approach to her bartending.

“I was impressed with Jack’s foraging approach for his bitters and this theme continued with his cocktail, which was influenced by druids and mythical times. Georgia’s style was more matter-of-fact but her innate understanding of flavour summarised in her own words, ‘what grows together, goes together’, took her drinks to a higher level. I’m excited by the prospect of Jack and Georgia joining our other 10 finalists from around the world to helping us create a brand new Auchentoshan expression; by bartenders, for bartenders.”

The Winning Entrants;

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Butter Scotch 1800

Georgia Billing, Plateau

“I entered Auchentoshan’s New Malt Order competition to meet other bartenders who experiment with the chemistry involved in making bitters. It’s inspiring to see what drives like-minded people. Not all botanicals react in the same way to spirits, infusion techniques, ABV and other variables; any discussion can only aid progression. This competition is a fantastic opportunity to learn about manufacturing techniques like blending and distillation. I’m looking forward to being a part of it and meeting the other New Malt Order bartenders. I hope I can give back as much as I can learn!”

Butter Scotch 1800

Ingredients:

45ml Auchentoshan American Oak
5ml Demerara Salt and Pepper rich syrup (Georgia’s own recipe)
2 dashes citrus spice bitters (Georgia’s own recipe)

Method:

Add all ingredients in to a cocktail shaker, shake well and serve over an ice block in to a rocks glass. Add a drop of bitters on to the ice block for aroma and colour. Serve with a lemon peel (oil is optional) and butterscotch candy on the side to be sucked alongside the drink for added buttery taste

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Jackie Bird

Jack Wareing, Dandelyan

“New Malt Order is my first real competition and I entered because I love whisky and wanted to push myself to create something special, on a different scale than I had ever worked before. It’s the chance to make friends with some of the most engaging and passionate people on the planet, as well as tapping into a knowledge base I otherwise would not have been able to get close to. It’s great to see brands as prestigious as Auchentoshan making whisky fun and accessible again.”

Jackie Bird

Ingredients:
50ml Auchentoshan Three Wood
4 dashes of Nine Herbs Bitters (Jack’s own recipe)
25ml pineapple cordial ( 3:4 pineapple shrub to pineapple juice)

Half a melon baller of Jack’s homemade raspberry and Campari sorbet (made with fresh raspberries and Campari with Xanthan gum)

Method:

Add all ingredients in to a cocktail shaker. Shake well and serve over ice in an old-fashioned glass.

UK Shortlist:
Andrei Marian, Four Sisters
Ernest Reid, Smith and Wollensky
Georgia Billing, Plateau
Harrison Knox, Archer Street
Jack Wareing, Dandelyan
Michele Raina, Skylon
Sam Mathieson, Dine

 

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Auchentoshan Launces The New Malt Order

new Malt Order
Raised in the city, the single malt Scotch whisky Auchentoshan® has announced its search to find fresh creative talent from behind the bar who can demonstrate they challenge the norms and do things differently to become part of the New Malt Order. Not your traditional single malt, Auchentoshan® has done things differently for almost two centuries and its new global bartender competition is no exception.

Each year, the New Malt Order will unite 12 bartenders from cities around the world to collectively create a new limited edition Auchentoshan® expression. Working together, The New Malt Order will design both a new liquid and new packaging for distribution in the on-trade in 2017. By bartenders, for bartenders.

LIMITED EDITION
Championing their individuality, the expression created by the New Malt Order will include unique cask selections that reflect each bartender’s character and the experiences that have shaped their identity. The limited release will showcase the New Malt Order’s collective personality in both its tasting profile and product design, encapsulating the essence of what makes them different.

The New Malt Order competition marks the launch of the brand’s ‘Distilled Different’ campaign, which celebrates Auchentoshan®’s unique status as the only triple distilled single malt whisky – highly accessible and mixable – as well as its unique character, being Glasgow’s only single malt.

SEEKING THE DIVERGENT
Auchentoshan® has set its sights on inventive bartenders from five countries around the world to handpick 240 exceptional entrants from vibrant, urban bars who encompass the spirit of Distilled Different and strive to break the mould.

Where once Auchentoshan® Switch® gave bartenders the chance to get behind iconic bars and be mentored by leading mixologists around the world, the competition has evolved to recognise and reward dynamic spirits explorers who push the boundaries of cocktail ingenuity with an opportunity to create a new liquid.

The international bartending community will be tasked with putting their fearless expertise to the test through the creation of their own unique Bitters using Auchentoshan® New Make spirit. Every last drop of New Make is triple distilled, making it more open to embracing flavour than conventional Scottish single malts, whether that is the variety of barrels it matures in or the roots, herbs, spices and other flavours it’s combined with. Using a customised New Malt Order Bitters Kit, each bartender will create a new Bitters that will be used to showcase their own personal take on the brand’s signature Auchentoshan® & Ale serve.

AUCHENTOSHAN & ALE
Inspired by the Scottish classic, the ‘hauf an’ a hauf’ – a dram and an ale chaser – Auchentoshan®’s sweet aromas pair perfectly with the invigorating crispness of chilled beer. Auchentoshan® & Ale raises the benchmark with an ice cold serve that you can do differently by adding ale, pilsner or stout. The signature serve marries Auchentoshan® American Oak with citrus pale ale, the triple distilled liquid adds a delicate, smooth taste with sweet aromas of vanilla and coconut, pairing perfectly.

35ml Auchentoshan® American Oak
25ml Fresh lemon juice
25ml Honey syrup
90ml Citrus Pale Ale
Lemon wedge to garnish

1. Combine Auchentoshan®, lemon juice and honey syrup in a shaker filled with ice
2. Shake vigorously and strain into a vessel (with or without ice)
3. Top up with Citrus Pale Ale and garnish with a lemon wedge

Judged by the best in the business, the inaugural 12 members of the New Malt Order will be flown to the home of Auchentoshan® in Glasgow, Scotland, to join Master Blender Rachel Barrie for a five-day masterclass and immersion into the city’s effervescent, creative culture. After visiting some of Glasgow’s most inspirational and pioneering businesses to meet the entrepreneurial owners shaking up their industries, each bartender will be guided through a unique experimental blending of Auchentoshan® maturing whiskies to make their mark on the limited edition single malt.

DISTILLED DIFFERENT
Founded in industrial Glasgow, in 1823, Auchentoshan® is the only distillery in the city and remains unconstrained by convention. Reflecting the brand’s tenacious lust for city-living in all its bustling, diverse and cultural joy, Distilled Different and the New Malt Order celebrate the next generation of single malt lovers with a dynamic and arresting new creative identity inspired by Auchentoshan’s® inner-city urban surroundings.

Rachel Barrie, Auchentoshan® Master Blender, comments: “Auchentoshan®’s New Malt Order is an exciting opportunity for bartenders across the world to show us how they do things differently. The New Malt Order is synonymous with what the bartending community strives to achieve – a collaboration of innovators inspired not just by food and drink but also by the cultural areas of music, art and literature. The new expression created will be a liquid for the bartender by the bartender”.

Welcome to the New Malt Order.

Auchentoshan Single Malt Unveils Rare 1975 Expression

AU_LE_1975_Bottle and Carton

EXCLUSIVELY FOR TRAVEL RETAIL

Auchentoshan, Scotland’s only triple distilled Single Malt Scotch Whisky, has released a rare limited edition of the 1975 expression exclusively to travel retail. With only 500 bottles in existence, only the lucky few will be able to savour this rare, cask strength non-chill filtered Single Malt, which has been aged in hand-selected, north American bourbon casks for over 38 years.

Following on from the success of the first batch released in the domestic market in 2011, this second release of the vintage has been matured for an additional year giving it its particularly fresh, dewy fruity qualities. It becomes part of a series of superb vintage releases from the late 1970s including the 1979 sherry matured and the 1974 bourbon matured.
Presented in a premium slate grey double fronted box, both the carton and the bottle deliberately retain a subtlety and understated luxury best reserved for higher aged vintage releases. Once opened the box reveals a stunning design using barrel staves. Labeling is minimal with both the name and label appearing slimmer to reveal the liquid as the true hero. The neck of the bottle is also clear exposing the natural cork. The date of bottling is written on each of the bottles.

Auchentoshan triple distils every drop meaning the spirit produced reaches 81.5% ABV, significantly higher than most distilleries in Scotland. The lightness of the liquid enables it to absorb every characteristic it is exposed to in the cask. It is this smooth distillate paired with the carefully selected oak casks that gives Auchentoshan an unmistakably light and fruity flavour.
Auchentoshan Master Blender Rachel Barrie says “Having spent an additional year maturing in the highest quality North American bourbon casks, the 2013 bottling of Auchentoshan 1975 allows the drinker to experience the complexity and ripe, developed fruit flavours associated with a whisky of this vintage.’’

There will be 500 bottles available globally in a range of international airports priced at £500+ with an ABV of 45.6%.
For more information visit http://www.auchentoshan.co.uk

Manchester Whisky Festival 2013 Review

Diageo

The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester was the host of the biggest whisky festival outside of London, so big in fact that there had to be two floors filled with some cracking brands. The Whisky Lounge were the proud organisers for the 5th year in a row and had on offer the crème de la crème of the whisky world from both Scotland and Ireland, and even a few in Japan, India, England and America for good measure. Part of the Manchester Food & Drink Festival, there would be a host of seminars and masterclasses on offer including names such as Colin Dunn of Diageo and The Whisky Lounge founder Eddie Ludlow. This year I myself didn’t participate in any of the workshops on offer, but took full advantage of scanning the list for new additions, rare offerings and old favourites.

So, below, in order I sampled, I give to you my tasting notes on the days offerings –

Talisker Storm – 45.8%

Spice on the nose with hints of smoke and honey. A rich beginning on the palate, with a spicy kick following and sea smoke hitting the finish. Long.

Talisker Port Ruighe – 45.8%

Smoky notes on the nose with a ripe fruit following. A peppery beginning on the palate, but develops a peat flavour that mixes smoke and dark fruits. A lingering finish.

Berry Bros. & Rudd Blue Hanger Blended Malt, 6th Release – 45.6%

Rich orange and vanilla on the nose alongside waves of peat aromas. Fruits are present on the palate, with the well-rounded finish of sweet orange and smoky flavours.

Aberlour – Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) – 52.1%

Sultana, apple and chocolate notes on the nose, with lots of spice, treacle and dark chocolate blending well on the palate. Creates a very long finish.

Elements of Islay BR 4 – 54.7%

From Bruichladdich. Lots of sweet fruit notes on the nose, with the fruits moving straight onto the palate. Blended with a honeyed sweetness and a pepper finish.

William Grant’s Ale Cask Reserve – 40%

Smooth herbal nose with a little sweetness lingering. Edinburgh ale aromas on the palate, with the oak coming through more as it develops. Slight fudge and barley near the honey finish.

William Grant’s Sherry Cask Reserve – 40%

Light and fruity on the nose, with a mix of honey and nuts present too. A well-balanced palate with dried fruits, spice, nuts and oak dancing nicely to a long finish.

English Whisky Company - Founders Private Cellar
English Whisky Company – Founders Private Cellar

Tullamore Dew – 40%

Lots of fruit and oats on the nose, with hints of sweet caramel coming through too. Hints of spice, sherry on the palate leads to a long caramel finish.

Tweeddale Batch 3 12yr – 46%

A great blend of apples and vanilla on the nose, with a sniff of raisin near the finish. The aromas follow onto the palate, with an added hint of ginger. A little kick of spice to finish.

Tweeddale Batch 4 14yr

A light nose of dry lavender and herbs, with a palate that enjoys soft caramel blended with waves of spiced peat. Hints of salt and smoke come through as it finishes.

‘The Bomb’ Blended Malt – Oloroso Finish – 47.4%

A nose of fresh plums and raisins dominate, whilst sweet flavours of marzipan and spicy fruits blend well for a lingering finish.

‘The Bomb’ Blended Malt – Pedro Ximinez Finish – 45.4%

Lots of sweet fruits with dark berries on the nose, with a vanilla and fruit blend on the palate that creates a long finish.

The Salty Sea Dog – 46%

Fresh on the nose with plenty of sea salt and peaty smoke that carries onto the palate. Draws out a long, tangy yet defining finish with lingering peat and crunchy salt.

 

Springbank 10yr – 46%

Lots of oak and earth notes on the nose, with a more cereal base on the palate. Peat, nuts and smoke create a long, crisp finish.

Hazelburn 12yr – 46%

Very aromatic on the nose with dry fruits, sherry and toffee coming through. A little spicy on the palate, with cocoa, coffee and a hint of peat nearing the finish. A long finish.

 

English Whisky Chapter 13 – 49%

Hints of smoke on the nose, with a following of spice and dark chocolate. A creamy texture on the palate, with notes of vanilla and toffee blending with fruits to create a long, dry finish.

English Whisky Founders Private Cellar (Cask 0859) – 60.8%

Dark berry notes on the nose with a slight kick of cinnamon lingering on the finish. Black pepper flavours on the palate, moving to a creamy texture of fudge and vanilla. The spice returns for a long, dry finish.

Longmorn 12 Year Old (Gordon & MacPhail) – 40%

Lots of fruit on the nose with some oak aromas following. Plenty of citrus and orange flavours dominate the palate, creating a long, juicy finish that lasts for a while.

Atholl Brose – 35%

Light and fresh on the nose with a mix of ginger and citrus that doesn’t dominate and overpower too much. A light ginger flavour to begin, it develops nicely with an instant warming. Sweet ginger near the end as the soft velvet texture coats your mouth.

William Grants & Sons
William Grants & Sons

Girvan Patent Still Single Grain 25yr – 42%

Light aroma on the nose of caramelised fruits, with good doses of toffee, honey and rich vanilla on the palate as they blend well to create a lingering dram.

Hakushu 12yr – 43.5%

Fresh nose of green fruit with a whisp of smoke lingering. Sweetness on the palate, with pear dominating and the soft smoke creating a dry texture.

Hibiki 12yr – 43%

Lots of pineapple and plum aromas blending nicely on the nose and following through onto the palate to create a soft and sweet flavour. A little spice on the end.

Auchentoshan 18yr – 43%

Bold notes of vanilla and spice on the nose with hints of sweet ginger following. Roasted nuts and vanilla flavours are present on the palate, creating a long, not-wanting-to-end finish.

Aberlour 16yr – 43%

Dry but rich on the nose with spice and raisins dominating. Quite sweet on the palate with a soft plum and long oak finish.

Rock Town Brandon’s Small Batch Gin – 46%

Very fresh with lots of citrus on the nose. Plenty of juniper, with subtle spice wandering around. A little dry on the palate, with coriander noticeable, and angelica following. A kick of spice to finish a long offering.

Rock Town Arkansas Young Bourbon – 46%

Aromas of fresh corn on the nose, with some dried fruits and spices present on the palate. A little hint of oak on the long, long finish.

Laphroaig Quarter Cask – 48%

Butter, toffee and raisin are present on the nose, surrounded by scented oil. A sweet start on the palate, but a huge kick of heat with iodine and fruit coming into play. A shorter finish than what you expect.

Laphroaig 18yr – 48%

Toffee nose with hints of cereal and spice leads to a warm yet rounded flavour of smoke and liquorice on the palate. A long, rich toffee finish.

Cardhu 12yr – 40%

Sweet, rich aromas of white fruit on the nose. Well-rounded on the palate, with a good dose of smooth peat and whispers of smoke on this long dram.

Some fantastic whiskies on offer yet again at the Manchester leg of the show. There’s some on the list above that I probably will never get round to trying again so to attend a show like this can really throw towards you some real gems. Highlights for me include Rock Town Arkansas Young Bourbon, Auchentoshan 18yr, Hakushu 12yr and English Whisky Founders Private Cellar (Cask 0859).
If you like whisky, then you will love attending these festivals. If you’re not a lover, you can be pointed into the direction of some of the more introductory whiskies on offer in the world. This is the best thing about this category – love it or hate it, there will always be something to convert or possibly soften your initial thought.

Sláinte.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Auchentoshan Switch Winner Announced

Six_finalists

LONDON. 2nd OCTOBER 2013: Aidan Bowie from The Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow, battled it out against 11 of the most talented and creative bartenders on the continent to become the European winner of the Auchentoshan Switch – the transatlantic mixology competition like no other. Aidan’s prize will be to “switch” continents with the North American winner and spend two weeks working in the prestigious Dead Rabbit in New York City.

Last night’s European final was held at a unique warehouse location in London Bridge where the finalists were put through a series of challenging mixology tasks that were judged by an esteemed panel:
* Rachel Barrie, Auchentoshan Master Blender
* Edmund Weil, co-owner, Nightjar
* Ryan Chetiyawardana (AKA Mr Lyan), cocktail genius

In each round, the finalists demonstrated their skill and creativity in front of the judges and guests. The first round ‘Creativity and Presentation’ saw the bartenders present their original competition entry of their Auchentoshan Three Wood creation. Round two ‘Working Under Pressure’ tested bartenders’ ability to think on their feet with a secret bag of ingredients given to them just minutes before their presentation. The final round, ‘A Cocktail Showdown’, saw the two outstanding finalists create Rachel Barrie’s favourite cocktail, Blood and Sand.

The competition has been happening throughout the summer, with mixologists from the UK, Sweden, Germany and across the pond in North America entering via the Auchentoshan website and then attending regional heats in their countries. The actual Switch will take place in 2014 when the North American bartender will spend two weeks at the highly acclaimed Nightjar in Old Street, London. The North American final takes place in New York City at the end of this month.
Jennifer Meenan, Brand Manager for Auchentoshan said “This year’s Auchentoshan Switch has seen such a high level of skill from the bartending world. We wanted the competition to reflect the brand’s personality and we feel that last night’s European final did just this with something totally unique. We can’t wait to see what happens in the North American final. Next stop New York.”

Edmund Weil, competition judge and soon to be mentor of the North American winner alongside the Nightjar team, commented: “The Switch finalists showed so much talent and passion in their Auchentoshan Three Wood creations, the judges were blown away and some difficult decisions had to be made but Aidan just had the edge”.

Award winning Auchentoshan Three Wood is the chosen expression for all Auchentoshan Switch entries as its complex flavours add tremendous dimension to whisky cocktails. As with all Auchentoshan whisky, Three Wood is triple distilled, which produces an immensely smooth spirit. It is matured in three different types of casks – first in North American Bourbon casks, then in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks and finally in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, a wood famed for drama and darkness. This triple cask maturation produces a rich whisky with deep toffee and sherry oak influences, a touch of hazelnut with hints of cinnamon and lemon and a butterscotch sweetness that adds to the overall complexity. It is produced at the Auchentoshan Distillery which was established in 1823 and has produced triple distilled whisky since this time. It is located in the Lowland region of Scotland, on the outskirts of Glasgow and is the city’s only distillery. Its name, pronounced “ock-un-tosh-un”, means “corner of the field” which is evident to visitors as the distillery sits near farmland on the banks of the River Clyde, in the shadow of the Old Kilpatrick hills between Glasgow and Loch Lomond.

Auchentoshan Launches Limited Edition Release Of Silveroak 1990 Exclusively For Travel Retail

2013 SilverOak Bottle CartAuchentoshan, Scotland’s only triple distilled Single Malt Scotch Whisky, will add to its travel retail range with a new limited edition release of the Auchentoshan Silveroak 1990. Following on from the success of the first batch of Silveroak, this limited second release of the 1990 vintage has been matured for an additional year making it 22-years-old. Therefore the second release of the Auchentoshan Silveroak expression demonstrates the increase in complexity associated with longer maturation.

Established in 1823, Auchentoshan triple distils every drop meaning the spirit produced reaches 81.5% ABV, significantly higher than most distilleries in Scotland. The lightness of the liquid enables it to absorb every characteristic it is exposed to in the cask. It is this smooth distillate paired with the carefully selected oak casks that gives Auchentoshan an unmistakably light and fruity flavour. The Auchentoshan Silveroak is no exception to this rule.
Auchentoshan Master Blender Rachel Barrie says “Having spent an additional year maturing in fine North American bourbon and Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, the 2013 bottling of Auchentoshan Silveroak reveals additional complexity which lifts the taste with silky oak, mint and almonds.”

Boasting the same classically modern livery as its peers in the Auchentoshan Travel Retail range, the new Silveroak 1990 carton is masculine yet elegant. As with the liquid inside, the oak casks are the stars of the show on the pack. The North American bourbon and Spanish Oloroso sherry casks are pictured on three sides of the carton, reflecting how the flavours from the sweet bourbon oak perfectly compliment that of the rich Oloroso sherry.

There will be 300 8.4ltr cases of Auchentoshan Silveroak 1990 available globally in a range of international airports priced at £90.00 with an ABV of 50.9%.

For more information visit http://www.auchentoshan.co.uk

Auchentoshan Tasting Notes

Auchentoshan

Auchentoshan is unique within the Scottish whisky world for one reason, it is triple distilled. That may not mean a lot to you, but with every other Scottish whisky only twice distilled, and triple distillation found more commonly within the Irish whisky production, it puts Auchentoshan under its own sub-category. It’s probably why then why I’ve been fascinated with the brand since i was introduced to it a few years back. It’s history, production methods, it’s versatility within its range as well as it’s location, makes Auchentoshan an interesting brand to work with. But how have I come to this rather bold conclusion? Well lets take a look –

Located close to the River Clyde in Clydebank, Glasgow, the rather picturesque setting hosts the Auchentoshan distillery, with the name ‘Auchentoshan’ meaning ‘corner of the field’. The distillery was officially granted a license and opened in 1823, although there is evidence that a distillery was operating on the same site from the late 1700’s. The distillery has changed ownership on several occasions in its history, including a spell under Scottish brewing firm, Tenants during the 1960’s. The current owners are Morrison Bowmore, who took control in 1984 and were subsequently taken over 10 years later by Japanese drinks company Suntory. With a resurgence in recent years, consumption can now be granted to the US, Canada, Nordic countries as well as Russia.

So as mentioned, Auchentoshan is rather unique in its production of this Lowland Scottish whisky.

Auchentoshan begins life using malted optic barley which spends 2 days soaked in water and then gently kilned. The barley is then ground into grist which maximizes the amount of starch that converts into sugars during the mashing process. After milling, it is then ready for combining with yeast and water from Loch Katrine. The barley is fed into a lauter tun (a huge copper pot) and combined with the Lock Katrine water first at 63.5°C. The second filling is at 74°C and left for 1 1/2 hours, and the third at 94°C (the heat helps turn the starches into sugar). After two fillings, it’s ready for fermentation (the third filling is used as the first water in the next mash).

The fermentation process happens in 6 metre deep Oregon Pine washbacks. Steeped for 5 days, it creates 35,000 litres of fermented wash at 8% ABV. At the end of the 5 days, the wash is pumped through to the first of three copper pot stills, the wash still. This huge room, sweltering from the heat of the three pot stills houses is where the uniqueness of Auchentoshan begins. Heated at 94°C, the vaporised alcohol slowly makes its way up the still and through the lyne arm that leads to the condenser. The left over ‘pot ale’ is then sold as fertiliser. Pipes in the condenser pump cold water around, condensing the alcohol vapour into liquid or ‘low wine’ and is then pumped through the ‘spirit safe’ where they now get the chance to control the condensed spirit. The actual spirit distillate begins life as something known as fore-shots. This is the remnants of the previous distillation combined with the current distillation (the fore-shots don’t make it any further – they’re recycled through the spirit safe into the feints receiver).

Auchentoshan 12yr and Triple Wood
Auchentoshan 12yr and Triple Wood

After eight minutes of fore-shots, the spirit starts to runs clear. This is known as the ‘new make spirit’. This ‘new make spirit’, is collected in the spirit receiver until the alcohol content drops to 80% ABV. The last process is known as ‘off spirit’, which is a second cut. This ‘second cut’ is recycled by re-distilling  The ‘new make spirit’ makes its way to the intermediate still, at 19% ABV and around 16,400 litres. Again heated up, the alcohol vapour travels up and through the lyne arm, and cooled in a condenser where it is then pumped through the spirit safe and into the feints receiver. Finally, they take the high strength feints and distil 2600 litres in the spirit still. After passing through the spirit safe for the third time, it hits the spirit receiver at between 80 and 82.6%. Here it is now ready to be cask filled at a strength of 63.5%.

The Auchentoshan distillation process takes the fermented liquid from 8% ABV to 80%, a unique number resulted from the triple-distillation instead of the more usual double-distillation that usually reached just 70% ABV.

Get all that? Don’t worry if you didn’t. It can be rather hard to explain the complicated process of the production of whisky, especially without sounding too geeky. If it helps, take a look at this.

For maturation, Auchentoshan use ex American bourbon oak barrels from Wild Turkey and Jim Beam at a cost of £80 and £100 per barrel. Spanish sherry casks are also used – Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez at around £800 a barrel. American oak is used to blend in flavours of caramel and vanilla, as well as to give it a sweetness, while dark, rich flavours and citrus notes are released from the Spanish casks. The darkened, cold warehouse housed casks raging from ages 6 to 50 years old, although the 50 year barrels will hold less due to natural evaporation causing the alcohol and water to be released.

So hopefully that gives you an idea of how Auchentoshan is created, but how does it all fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on some of their portfolio –

Auchentoshan Classic – 40%

Matured in first filled American bourbon barrels. Gives off a light, delicate vanilla scent on the nose, with white fruit coming through near the end. The palate enjoys a sweet vanilla, with a fresh citrus flavour that creates a lingering aftertaste.

Auchentoshan 12yr – 40%

Matured for 12 years, an instant burst of citrus flavours hits your nose, with a distinct toffee aroma floating rather quickly behind. Very smooth on the palate, with raisin and nut blending nicely with a sweetness lingering soon after, with a small hint of ginger.

Auchentoshan Three Wood – 43%

Matured in three different cask types, American bourbon to Spanish Oloroso sherry and finishing in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, a nose of deep sweetness, orange and raisin mix extremely well, with a heavy dose of black currant to finish. The palate has some dry fruits of raisin, with fresh lemon and butterscotch dancing slowly resulting in a long oak finish.

Auchentoshan 18yr – 43%

Bold notes of vanilla and spice on the nose with hints of sweet ginger following. Roasted nuts and vanilla flavours are present on the palate, creating a long, not-wanting-to-end finish.

Auchentoshan Valinch – 57.5%

The Classic Auchentoshan at cask strength. Floral and very clean on the nose with a sweet malt and a creamy flavour on the palate. Lingering finish. Smoother with drops of water with a slight power kick at the end.

Auchentoshan Virgin Oak – 46%

Auchentoshan’s first ever single malt to be solely matured in virgin North American oak casks. Bold on the nose which softens with fresh oak, spice and vanilla blending well. A sharp beginning on the palate that develops a sherry flavour, a little spice and a creamy texture. A lingering finish.

Fantastic on its own in your best whisky glass, but i did mention at the beginning at how versatile the range can be –

Rob 'Violet' Roy
Rob ‘Violet’ Roy

Rob ‘Violet’ Roy

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients –

50 ml Auchentoshan Three Wood
12.5 ml Red Vermouth
6 ml Agave Syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
6 ml Violet Liqueur

Method –

In a mixing glass full of ice, pour the violet syrup and stir. Strain the violet syrup out. Pour the rest of the ingredients over the ice, stir and strain into a Martini glass.

A great twist on a whisky classic! Auchentoshan takes their versatility seriously, even going as far as being host to one of the most innovative cocktail competitions in the world today, Auchentoshan Switch.  I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Auchentoshan distillery a few years back, incidentally my first every whisky distillery tour. You can check out my review of the trip here. In the meantime though, you need to purchase yourself a treat, or indeed grab a dram in your nearest whisky bar. The brand is nearly 200 years old for a reason.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Auchentoshan Launches Virgin Oak

Auchenoakweb

August 2013: Auchentoshan, Scotland’s only triple distilled Single Malt Scotch Whisky, is launching an exclusive limited edition – Auchentoshan Virgin Oak. This complex, non-chill filtered dram is Auchentoshan’s first ever single malt to be solely matured in virgin North American oak casks, wood that is previously untouched by any spirit.

Intuition and industry knowledge led the team at Auchentoshan to believe they could challenge the firmly entrenched belief that Scotch whisky must be matured in ex-bourbon or sherry casks. Since the millennium, Auchentoshan has placed small batches of the unique, triple distilled spirit in virgin North American oak whose charred surfaces have held neither bourbon nor sherry.

Time and patience revealed the whisky, which had spent its maturation in this virgin oak, to possess a deep orange colour with spiced apple and candied notes as well as layer upon layer of complexity.

Established in 1823, Auchentoshan triple distils every drop meaning the spirit produced reaches 81.5% ABV, significantly higher than most distilleries in Scotland. It is this smooth distillate paired with the carefully selected oak casks that gives Auchentoshan an unmistakably light and fruity flavour. Auchentoshan’s inventive approach to whisky production has led the brand to embrace innovative ideas and processes such as maturing whisky in virgin oak.

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 a lowland whisky that is subtle as well as complex in nature.”

Boasting the same classically modern livery as a number of its Auchentoshan Limited Edition peers, the Auchentoshan Virgin Oak packaging is refined yet impactful. The contemporary typography is bright white against the classic grey background of the carton and gives the pack a premium contemporary feel. One that reflects Auchentoshan’s classically modern approach.

Available from specially selected retailers from the end of July at £69.99 / ABV: 46%

For more information visit http://www.auchentoshan.co.uk

Auchentoshan Taste Experiments

AUCHENTOSHAN PRESENTS…The Taste Experiments

Masterclasses that explore the concept of taste through scientific experiments in whisky, cocktails and food

Ryan Chetiyawardana

Prepare to embrace your inner scientist this summer at the Auchentoshan Taste Experiments – a series of events in London and Glasgow that will help you to understand and analyse your preferences to certain flavours.  The events, which aim to add something unique and unusual to a traditional whisky tasting, have been created by Auchentoshan Master Blender and chemist Rachel Barrie, cocktail genius Ryan Chetiyawardana (AKA Mr Lyan), coffee & taste experts DunneFrankowski and food experimentalists Rebel Dining Society.

Auchentoshan pronounced ock-un-tosh-an is an authentic Single Malt with a modern contemporary feel targeted at an emerging, whisky drinking generation.  It’s the only distillery to distil three times (rather than once or twice to remove impurities) allowing the liquid to absorb every possible characteristic from the wood as it matures in the finest oak barrels. It’s this unique process that gives it unrivalled smoothness and versatility making it the perfect mixing whisky.

The Auchentoshan Taste Experiments will transport tests usually only explored in the confines of the Master Blender’s laboratory into a fun and interactive environment. The masterclass will take you on a journey: First, an education into taste and flavour; Second, how to taste whisky and customise cocktails and thirdly investigating fermentation, distillation and maturation through food.

The events tap into a growing thirst for experiences that combine the powers of science and imagination. Through this balance of science, craft, fun and flavours the Auchentoshan Taste Experiments will provide a greater understanding of how to appreciate and enjoy Auchentoshan Single Malt Whisky.

The Taste Experts:

DunneFrankowski – DunneFrankowski, are known as purveyors of fine coffee. They run lively and exciting training and talks and will be hosting the Introduction to Taste.

Ryan Chetiyawardana – The most studious of bartending gentlemen, Mr Ryan Chetiyawardana has recently ended his role as Creative Manager at The Worship

Street Whistling Shop bar in East London, where he created arguably one of the most inventive cocktail menus in the world. He is now developing Mr Lyan- a new drinking experience coming very soon.

The Rebel Dining Society – Has established itself as a driving force in the emerging conceptual dining and event scene with their desire to push the boundaries of fine dining. Immersing participants in an atmosphere that stimulates the senses and taste buds alike.

The Auchentoshan Taste Experiments form part of a wider campaign around experiments, which will see Auchentoshan invite consumers far and wide to explore taste and whisky with experiments online at https://www.facebook.com/auchentoshan

To get involved: Tickets will be available for £15 from www.eventbrite.com.

Auchentoshan Julep
Auchentoshan Julep

Auchentoshan Classic Julep

Ryan Chetiyawardana has created a number of summery Auchentoshan cocktails for the Taste Experiments. The Auchentoshan Classic Julep stands alone as a summer punch cocktail that can be made at home or in the on-trade.  This short, fresh serve complements the bright zesty notes of Auchentoshan Classic with fresh mint and floral elderflower liqueur. As the drink dilutes, the vanilla notes of the whisky will begin to unfold. An ideal cocktail for summer parties the Julep can be served in glass pitchers or from behind the bar in ornate punch bowls.

Ingredients:

1 bottle Auchentoshan Classic

2 bunches mint

40g demerara sugar

200ml St German Elderflower Liqueur

Grapefruit zest

Method:

Take 1 bottle of Auchentoshan Classic, 2 bunches of mint (stems up), demerara sugar and St Germain Elderflower liqueur and mix together in a tall jug. Stir to dissolve the sugar, being careful not to tear the mint. Place in the fridge for 2 hours, along with some small cups (ideally pewter or metal).

After two hours, strain off the mint. Fill each cup with cracked ice, add 50ml of the mix. Churn, then fill with more ice. Garnish with a zest of grapefruit and a large sprig of mint.

 

New Look Packaging for Auchentoshan 12 Years Old and Auchentoshan Three Wood

Three Wood Bottle Carton copy

This June (2013) Auchentoshan, Scotland’s only triple distilled Single Malt Scotch whisky, will reveal exciting new packaging for its iconic core brands – Auchentoshan Three Wood and 12 Years Old. The refresh, which takes inspiration from the hugely successful travel retail range launched in 2012, will highlight Auchentoshan’s premium qualities and increase stand out on shelf. The new pack will also educate the consumer about Auchentoshan’s unique triple distillation process, wood maturation and tasting notes.

All three sides of the pack are maximised in the new design and illustrations are used to bring to life the story of the whisky. Auchentoshan’s premium quality and brand heritage is reflected in the prominence of 1823, the year of the brand’s establishment, and the traditional bronze foiling which highlights the three copper stills used in the distillation process.

The iconic and unique Auchentoshan bottle will not change its shape and will remain the same easy to handle bottle. The expression name will appear on the bottle’s label in white stylised traditional font which stands out clearly against the dark grey background of the label and provides an additional nod to the brand’s heritage.
Jennifer Meenan, Auchentoshan Brand Manager says, “We are delighted with the new pack design and feel it will provide consumers with a greater understanding of how we make our whisky, and most importantly, how it will taste. The introduction of illustrations on pack is new for Auchentoshan and we feel it brings to life the story of this wonderful triple distilled single malt whisky”.

Established in 1823, Auchentoshan triple distils every drop meaning the spirit produced reaches 81.5% ABV, significantly higher than most distilleries in Scotland. The lightness of the liquid enables it to absorb every characteristic it is exposed to in the cask. It is this smooth distillate paired with the carefully selected oak casks that gives Auchentoshan an unmistakably light and fruity flavour.

For more information visit http://www.auchentoshan.co.uk