Inside the Bottle: Auchentoshan Distillery Exclusive

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Auchentoshan distillery and their delicious exclusives have been on my radar for a few years now. I have also been fortunate to have secured some bottlings from auctions as well as having them posted to me… yes a little expensive, but you gotta do what you gotta do. You know?

I managed to visit the Auchentoshan Distillery in 2018, and it was more than worth the wait, and I was lucky to enjoy a tour for one. I absolutely loved having the opportunity to use a valinch to bottle my own… that little beauty was cask #4485 which is a first fill Oloroso cask, which in my opinion is one that takes me to a lovely place when I pour myself a dram.

The distillery was built in 1800, changing hands over the years it was eventually bought by Eadie Cairns in 1969 who rebuilt it completely.

In 1984 it was then sold to Morrison Bowmore, which then saw investment from Suntory in 1989 before acquiring 100% of its holdings in 1994.

The merger between Beam Inc. and Suntory (Holdings Ltd.) created Beam Suntory who are now the owners.

Do you remember the first time your lips were touched with something that made you smile? The time that you had, you know, the one where you spent it with something that heightened your senses, and everything kind of made sense…?

I can.

I had just celebrated a milestone with my company, and rather than a rolled gold pen… I opted for travel vouchers and took myself off to the Lake District, or more precisely Keswick for a week away from life.

I had a gorgeous little cottage with a massive bed, a fire and wonderful views. All for me…. and it was just what I needed.


Once I had finally mastered the art of lighting a fire, the room was aglow with the flames, just me, some music and peace. I poured myself a dram, and yes I smiled.

I was doing something I hadn’t done before…or probably something I hadn’t ‘consciously’ done before… I was aware I was intrigued by the colour; dark copper and mahogany. An aroma was filling the air around me.. it was full of dark fruit, a hint of leather, coffee, dark chocolate, candied orange and more… then I heard a whisper, it was telling me to sip.

I did, and I kind of fell in love with what I had in my hand… bliss!!

I’ve been captivated by a few whiskies now, and I know it is because these take me back to times I want to remember… or to daydreams or whatever.

I often use terms like ‘smiles in a glass’, or ‘smiles in a bottle’ and that’s a true sentiment.


I am sentimental, and that’s okay. Quiet days and quiet times lead me to these recollections. Whether I have had my dram at a festival, a tasting, at home, or I’ve taken to enjoy in a hotel room, there are those that keep me thinking ‘I want more, much much more’… anyway, I’ve poured a dram… I’m off for one of those moments…!!

This review took me Inside the Bottle...

This Auchentoshan Distillery Exclusive – was distilled on the 13th February 2008, and bottled in May 2019, it’s 10 years old and was in a first fill Oloroso Sherry butt. It is a mighty 61.1%…

This has a lovely rich mahogany colour.

A deliciously deep plum and stewed fruit aroma greets your senses… There is some fig too… and black cherry. There’s a hint of soft brown sugar. A lovely scent of wood. A lovely sweetness is drawing me in. Coffee and leather make an appearance too.

The palate is full and rich…lovely cake spices, bitter dark chocolate, with caramel. Burnt sugar. Dark fruits, and delicious woody spice. Orange rind. Coffee again… a pleasant mouthfeel.

The finish is reassuringly good. Dark chocolate and dark fruits remain.

Despite the cask strength I don’t add water, I enjoy whiskies like this as they come. I delight in what they reveal to me over and over again…different times give different pleasures.