My Tasting Notes:
1. New Distillate – 63.5%
Nose: Rather weak, mostly pear, a hint of hay.
Palate: Very smooth, pear and a bit of porridge.
2. 1yo Bourbon Cask – 63%
Color: Very pale gold
Nose: Pear, vanilla and a touch of lemon.
Palate: Same as the nose, with the same hint of porridge as the newmake.
Finish: Medium long, slightly fruity.
3. 2 yo Oloroso Sherry Cask – 62.5%
Color: Full amber
Nose: Grapes, lemon, honey, a little nutmeg.
Palate: A little rough, lemon, grapes, oriental spices.
Finish: Rather long, fruity spice.
Overall: The raw Auchentoshan spirit is extremely smooth due to the triple distillation. But unfortunatley this also means that it is rather bland. The 1yo bourbon has quite a nice nose but the palate is still quite weak. I really quite like the 2yo sherry version which has picked up a suprising level of spicyness.
Given the character of the newmake, the character of Auchentoshan malts seems to be very much influenced by the casks used, and it really benefits from aging.
The set is quite pricey, it will set you back GBP 22 at the distillery shop. But I think it is a nice idea to offer such a pack because it gives you an insight into the maturation prcoess that you will have a hard time finding somewhere else.