Whisky Reviews

Auchentoshan Three Wood


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As I (didn’t really) walk into the (virtual) whisky shop looking for a good all-round whisky, to which I shall treat next week’s dinner guests, I once again fell for the simple beauty of what has grown to become a lowland classic: Auchentoshan. After rekindling my love for their standard 12 year old bottling a year ago, I decided to splurge and get the Three Wood expression. Before I continue, you may want to check out my reviews of the Auchentoshan 12 and 21 (limited)expressions.

So then, Three Wood, a funny old name for a whisky now isn’t it? Personally I may have gone for triple wood instead, but hey, who cares? I just realized that I don’t so I suppose that you probably won’t either – let’s move on! More important than grammatical preferences is what Three Wood refers to. Let me tell you straight away that there is no prize if you guessed it: it gets its name from the fact that the whisky is left to matured first in American Bourbon oak, then Spanish Oloroso and Pedro Ximinez sherry casks.

This maturation process gives the whisky lots of lovely, sweet and fruity notes that make it dangerously drinkable – hence, or so I hope, it is particularly suitable for dinner parties. That said, I wouldn’t be a good host if I didn’t try it first, as I am sure you would agree, so let’s pour a glass, shall we?

The nose appears almost to suffer slightly from multiple personality disorder; it starts out with decisive sherry notes – your raisins, plums, orange zest, warm dates, sultanas – then quickly rolls it eyes, goes away into itself for a few seconds, and returns with bourbon notes – toffee, cinnamon, vanilla – quite interesting. It may sound like I am being negative here, but I am not, it’s a quirk and I like it.

Moving on to the palate, it is commonly said to present quite a bit of toffee and caramel, though I would say that the main sweetness is more reminiscent of Scottish tablet. Along with this sweetness, whatever you would classify it as, there’s quite a bit of molten and perhaps slightly burnt sugar, almonds and just a touch of spice. The palate is quite woody, and again there is a touch of spice.

Overall it is not the most balanced whisky out there, which some critics lists as its main flaw, but I think that is exactly what makes it good – in some, or perhaps most, cases being unbalanced is a negative, but with Auchentoshan Three Wood, it’s what makes it interesting. That said, the 12 year old is probably a better whisky, and without a shadow of doubt it offers better value.

Color: Golden copper.

Nose: Raisins, plum, orange zest, warm dates, sultanas, toffee, cinnamon, vanilla.

Taste: Scottish tablet, molten/burnt sugar, almonds, touch of spice, sweet and warm.

Want to buy this whisky? Available in: USA & World (click)UK & Europe (click)

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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