Suped up Classic!

Working at theGraemeODYW Scotch Whisky Experience I deal a lot within the parameters of whisky regions as we offer a regional choice for people to drink on the tour. Now when this comes to the Lowland region, as you can imagine there is not much choice. Pretty much, you have Glenkinchie and Auchentoshan, and because of this I have tried both of their standard releases over and over and over and over again. For myself I marginally prefer the Auchentoshan classic (although on different occasions I have wavered) and so when they decided to release the Auchentoshan Valinch, billed as a cask strength classic, I was very keen to give it a try. So I settled down after work with some colleagues and arranged for a side by side tasting of the Classic and the Valinch. Pre-tasting, Valinch emerged as a strong favourite for the Auchentoshan crown, so lets see how the new release faired:


Auchentoshan Classic, 40%abv

Nose: An initial fresh sweetness, plenty of vanilla. Citrus like, but in an artificial, cleaning fluid type of way. Not so much lemon zest as lemon pip in a bundle of grass.

Palate: Very, very smooth and easy drinking. Lots of the freshness from the nose, lost the citrus burst but still very grassy. A little flat, a little oily and still a little fake but definitely not offensive in any way.

Finish: Disappointing. It pretty much just disappears of the palate after the initial taste.

Person: Prince William, most likely a delightful chap, easy going and friendly. Still a tad dull and the whole Royal thing adds an artificial element to his public persona.

Auchentoshan Valinch, 57.5%ABV

Nose: Definitely one of my favourite whiskies of the year! Not everyone agreed with me, but I definitely rate this highly. A lovely caramelised, milky note washes over immediately, followed by a sharp but sweet vanilla custard. Slight coffee notes, emerge after a while.

Palate: Fresh, fizzy and fantastic. Banana pancakes, custard creams with a background base of lemon grass. Like an authentic, charged up version of the classic, given a license to perform to the best of its ability. Water helps to bring out a smoother caramel note and adds to the biscuity notes.

Finish: Still pretty short but with a bit more character than its diluted brother.

Person: Prince Harry, again seems like a nice fellow but has a more realistic edge to him than his big bro. Adventurous and some times a bit wild with a strong sense of character and belief. A younger, preppier version of his classical brother.


Safe to say that the Valinch won this fight! A cracking dram and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it is one of the nicest I have tried this year. Not to expensive either so I highly recommend getting a try of it if you can.

Graeme Gardiner

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