Auchentoshan

The Auchentoshan distillery is located in the Scottish Lowlands, on the banks of the Clyde. Auchentoshan is one of the few Scottish distilleries that triple distils its Whiskies.

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Information about the Distillery
232 Bottles
Scotland, Lowlands
-4.438004 55.922578
Active
Suntory
1 x 17,500 l
1 x 8,200 l
Normal
1 x 11,500 l
Normal
6 x 38,000 l
7 t
1823
1,500,000 l
http://www.auchentoshan.co.uk/
Average tasting notes Tasting Notes
Calculated from 1,660 Tasting Notes
i
Nosing
Sweet:
Fruit:
Sherry:
Zitrus:
Vanilla:
Oak:
Spices:
Nuts:
Orange:
Raisin:
Malt:
Dried Fruit:
Herbs:
Caramel:
Honey:
Plum:
Peat Smoke:
Herb:
Cinnamon:
Lemon:
Chocolate:
Berries:
Heather:
Alcohol:
Apple:
Coconut:
Pear:
Peach:
Almonds:
Cherry:
Grapefruit:
Lime:
Floral:
Green Apple:
Date:
Leather:
Grass:
Tobacco:
Oil:
Mint:
Grape:
Barley:
Coffee:
Banana:
Fig:
Lemon Peel:
Chili:
Tropical Fruit:
Cake:
Pineapple:
Dark Chocolate:
Pepper:
Melon:
Wheat:
Hay:
Hazelnut:
Anise:
Walnut:
Blackberry:
Ginger:
Maritime Notes:
Nutmeg:
Seaweed:
Kiwi:
Black Currant:
Iodine:
Bonfire Smoke:
Clove:
Tasting
Sweet:
Fruit:
Spices:
Oak:
Sherry:
Nuts:
Zitrus:
Vanilla:
Malt:
Oil:
Caramel:
Orange:
Herb:
Honey:
Cinnamon:
Herbs:
Chocolate:
Peat Smoke:
Dried Fruit:
Pepper:
Dark Chocolate:
Hazelnut:
Raisin:
Alcohol:
Lemon:
Chili:
Heather:
Grapefruit:
Berries:
Ginger:
Almonds:
Floral:
Maritime Notes:
Grape:
Nutmeg:
Plum:
Coconut:
Mint:
Coffee:
Lime:
Apple:
Seaweed:
Barley:
Leather:
Tobacco:
Grass:
Hay:
Pear:
Tropical Fruit:
Pineapple:
Green Apple:
Peach:
Clove:
Blackberry:
Wheat:
Black Currant:
Lemon Peel:
Salt:
Cherry:
Cake:
Bonfire Smoke:
Fig:
Walnut:
Date:
Banana:
Anise:
Kiwi:
Cheese:
Medicinal Smoke:
Red Currant:
Rye:
Finish
Sweet:
Oak:
Spices:
Fruit:
Sherry:
Nuts:
Malt:
Herb:
Zitrus:
Chocolate:
Peat Smoke:
Oil:
Vanilla:
Dark Chocolate:
Pepper:
Caramel:
Alcohol:
Honey:
Chili:
Coffee:
Herbs:
Cinnamon:
Orange:
Almonds:
Heather:
Dried Fruit:
Hazelnut:
Ginger:
Grapefruit:
Lemon:
Berries:
Raisin:
Apple:
Maritime Notes:
Coconut:
Clove:
Plum:
Nutmeg:
Seaweed:
Pear:
Leather:
Date:
Floral:
Cherry:
Peach:
Tropical Fruit:
Salt:
Grape:
Banana:
Walnut:
Barley:
Cake:
Blackberry:
Pineapple:
Grass:
Hay:
Tobacco:
Green Apple:
Lime:
Wheat:
Bonfire Smoke:
Lemon Peel:
Medicinal Smoke:
Fig:
Anise:
Mint:
Black Currant:
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

Following the old Lowland tradition, all Auchentoshan Whiskies are triple distilled. Triple distillation removes the last remnants of fusel oils and other unwanted flavours from the Whisky. You will therefore very rarely get a sharp, edgy Whisky from Auchentoshan.

Auchentoshan's standard range is quite extensive and consists of many Whiskies. However, the core range essentially comprises the American Oak, the 12-year-old Auchentoshan and the Three Wood. On the whole, the distillery character of Auchentoshan can be described as soft and quiet. It is not uncommon for Auchentoshan to use Sherry or Wine casks to bring the Whisky a little more to the sweet side. Those who have tasted the older bottlings such as the 18-year-old or the 21-year-old will find that Auchentoshan also produces Whiskies whose complexity can delight expert connoisseurs.

There are no major Blended Malts that contain Auchentoshan. But some independent bottlers have secured enough casks to bring their own bottlings to market.

The Production

The Auchentoshan distillery is located in the Glen between the hills Kilpatrick and the River Clyde just north of Glasgow. The clear spring water from Loch Cochno on the Kilpatrick Hills is used for distillation. The annual production of 1.5 million litres of alcohol is quite high for a distillery that does not supply to the blend industry.

View from the street on the still house.
View from the street of the Auchentoshan Distillery.

The Pot Stills

Auchentoshan is very proud of its triple distillation process. This has been carried out since 1823 and can also be officially documented: An engineer named Thorne sold an intermediate still to the distillery in that year.

The wash still has a capacity of 17,500 litres, but is usually only filled with up to 16,500 litres to split the previously produced wash of about 33,000 litres into two runs. The process continues in the "intermediate still", which holds 8,200 litres. The first part produced here then goes into the spirit still with a capacity of 11,500 litres. The second part goes back into the intermediate still and is distilled again together with the next batch from the wash still. The raw spirit produced in the spirit still, the core, is one of the highest in the Single Malt range with an alcohol content of 81 per cent.

All the stills are steam-heated to ensure consistent quality with a controlled heating system.

For their size, all three pot stills are quite tall and are constricted above the outlet of the pot. The Lyne arm is very interesting. It appears completely levelled out, so theoretically half of the condensed spirit in the lyne arm should flow back into the still and the other half into the spirit receiver.

The pot stills
The pot stills of the Auchentoshan Distillery

The Maltings

Auchentoshan sources its malt from the major malt houses. Only unpeated malt is used, which suits the light distillery character.

The Fermentation

The distillery has seven washbacks in use, four made from ordinary Douglas fir and three from stainless steel. The fermentation time of 62 hours is rather longer than usual, resulting in more fruity citrus and apple flavours, but without losing the malt character.

The Warehouses

On the Auchentoshan Estate there are three dunnage warehouses, where the casks are  two to three rows above each other, and two racked warehouses, where they are also stacked higher. Guests can visit one of the dunnage warehouses where only Auchentoshan casks are stored. This warehouse was rebuilt in 1948 after being almost completely destroyed in a bombing in 1941.  

Bourbon barrels are mainly used for maturation, but some bottlings are also combinations of different types of sherry and wine casks. However, there are also experiments at Auchentoshan, such as the Auchentoshan Virgin Oak release, which was matured in fresh American oak casks.

The Warehouse of the Auchentoshan distillery.
View inside the warehouse of the Auchentoshan Distillery

The History

The distillery was built in 1800 by John Bulloch, who named it Duntocher. After Duntocher went bankrupt in 1822, his son took over the business and registered the Auchentoshan distillery in 1823. From then on, Auchentoshan was a legal Whisky distillery. The official date of foundation is therefore 1823. There are no legal records of production before then.

Over the centuries, Auchentoshan changed hands frequently. More recently, the distillery was sold to the Japanese Suntory group.

An important milestone for the distillery was 1969, when the owner pioneered the Single Malt production of Auchentoshan at a time when the blend industry was dominant.

The Visitor Centre

The Auchentoshan visitor centre is very nice, and you can stock up on all kinds of Auchentoshan bottlings in the shop. You can also have your own Whisky bottled directly from the cask. There are different tours of the distillery that can be booked online. The top tour consists of a very detailed guided tour through the production process as well as a tasting with three standard bottlings and two "archive" bottlings. The special thing about the "Auchentoshan Ultimate Tour" is that the tasting takes place in the distillery's official blending room. If you bring enough money with you, the distillery will also open its doors after regular opening hours.

Visitor information

The Auchentoshan Distillery
by Dalmuir
Cyldebank
Glasgow
G81 4SJ
Tel: +44 (0)1389-878561

Chronological rating history

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