Auchentoshan 1978 18yo

Guest Writer Chris ‘The Tiger’ White Returns!

Well that’s a turn up for the books. Not too sure how I managed it but they’ve gone and let me review another whisky. This one is a 1997 bottling of a 1978 distillation from Auchentoshan. In all honesty, I have to admit expressions of Auchie aren’t my favourite. I’m not sure why. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they’re bad whiskies. Not at all. They just don’t give me that warm fuzzy feeling inside in the same way as other house styles do. Perhaps it’s the unpeated style, perhaps it’s the lighter, apéritif character inherent of triple distilled whiskies or perhaps I’ve simply not sampled enough of it. Let’s go with the latter…


Auchentoshan 18yo
1978 Vintage (bottled 1997)
Lowland Single Malt
58.8% ABV

Nose: Fizzy and fresh. Green apples, limes, pineapples and very floral. Honey, caramel and rum truffles hide a little deeper but it’s not overly sweet. Candyfloss rises to the top. I usually prefer my whiskies without water but this one needs a little to really open it up – tropical fruits, vanilla and marzipan appear.

Palate: Spicy, malty and toffee. Then vanilla, oak and hints millionaire’s shortbread. Really quite hot too, but again the water allows this whisky to show its delicate complexity.

Finish: Quite short. A little spicy at first but then leaves you with a fresh, lip-puckering citrus sweetness nicely balanced with vanilla fudge creaminess.

Overall: A great example of a complex lowlander. The flavour is intensely packed into tantalisingly short, explosive bursts but with a little water you are allowed an extra few seconds to appreciate its subtleties. One to come back to again and again; it’ll surprise you every time. Have I now been won over? Absolutely.

The Tiger