Following up on or review of the Auchentoshan 12, it seems appropriate to get into a glass of the 12’s burly and slightly less delicate sibling, the Auchentoshan Three Wood. Comparing these two whiskies further expounds the marketing and branding family tree of the Morrison Bowmore Group, with the Three Wood not only giving this distillery a nice breadth of options for the store shelf, but also serving as an entry point for those stepping away from other Sherried styles of whisky. Not to mention anyone who might be into the various experiments in wood aging in general that is prevalent in Scotch of all kinds in today’s market. To achieve this incarnation, Auchentoshan’s malt masters have taken a ten year old sample of bourbon aged spirit and layered on 2 other progressively richer woods, first a year in oloroso sherry barrels and then a year in pedro ximinez sherry barrels. It is bottled at 43% .
Auchentoshan’s Three wood certainly has the spirity, menthol refreshing character we found in the their 12 year example. Just imagine that whisky with a sweet sherry knit sweater. The nose is a wonderful mix of subtle spice and sweet fruit that jumps in your nose in a very gentle dose. Often sherried whisky is so aromatic, especially if bottled at cask strength, that I need to back away from the glencairn glass after the first sniff. I kind of expected to be taken aback by the sherry in this case since those strong flavours would seem like a heavy handed blending technique with such a delicate base spirit. This was a very measured attack on my senses, however, and I could take a really nice long inhale to take in all the woody notes. A very appropriate whisky that finishes so fresh and so clean. And just a little sweet.