Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Auchentoshan, a fine Lowland Scotch Whisky. Ok I admit it, after doing all the genealogy thing and finding most of my ancestors were Scot Highlanders, I had some trouble coming to grips with the idea that a really good scotch could come from the Lowlands. Well as so often been the fact over these last several decades, I was wrong. In May of 2007 I had to travel to Pittsburg with a scotch drinking co-worker and we found "The Piper" a wonderful little bar featuring 135 single malts to sample. The Penguins were playing in the playoffs that night as we slipped into the bar and sat down. As is so often the case, we were like two small boys in a candy store trying to make our selections. We must have been wide-eyed and probably drooling a bit around the edges as we sat basked in the glow of the wide screen TV’s light trying to decide which of the 135 wonderful offerings we would try first. Always wanting to try something new (new to us) we tried a couple of versions of Auchentoshan. It was startlingly good. If memory serves we tried both the classic and the 12 year versions with those two basic ingredients of whisky fans; scotch and glass :-). I recently purchased my first bottle of Auchentoshan (in Gaelic it means "the corner of the field") and I intend to consume most of it when my whisky drinking amigo from Huntsville visits later this month. The box tells us that the distillery is located between the Kilpatrick hills, Loch Lomond, and the modern cosmopolitan city of Glasgow (Hey Jimmy gi us a pint). It is matured in bourbon barrels and is renowned (so sayth the box) for its soft delicate character. I say its damn good scotch (not being one whose words end up on scotch boxes lol.) It is triple distilled then placed in good old American bourbon casks. Those that can taste such things tell us that it has vanilla, coconut aromas and is known for being a very smooth drink.
My point is simply this, don't be a scotch snob and drink only the highland malts as you may miss out on some really wonderful treats such as Auchentoshan. Oh yes that night the Penguins won and I was treated to masses of people streaming out of many bars talking and hugging one stranger after another right after the game was over. That is when I was told that some cities are sports towns that have a drinking problem whereas Pittsburg is a drinking town with a sports problem. I have been a Steelers fan myself as far back as the Franco Harris Immaculate Reception (long ago when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth and I was still reasonably thin). If you are a fan you will know of what I speak, if not then it really doesn't matter now does it? So give this Lowland treat a try and get a bottle of Auchentoshan next time you visit your local liquor store, in Florida the ABC chain stock it.
The Whisky Warrior