Nose: Very sweet. Jersey caramels, fairy floss, golden syrup on pancakes, and sugared fruit jelly lollies. Quite the fairground.
Palate: Vanilla, caramel toffee & caramel fudge, oak spices, nutmeg, and fresh timber. Surprisingly light on flavour given its ABV.
Mouthfeel: Thick, dry, and warm. A slight burn on the tip of the tongue that dies off quickly.
Finish: Medium length. Burnt toffee; dry and slightly bitter. Hints of salted walnuts, and traces of floral notes after a while.
Balance: This whisky a bit all over the shop. The mouthfeel could be said to match nicely with the nose, but the palate and the finish don’t really match with any other component at all.
The nose on this whisky is an afternoon at a fair rolled into one sugary, sweet, deliciously messy ball. The palate on the other hand is extremely light in weight, and despite some vanilla and caramel fudge, a heavy layer of slightly bitter caramel toffee, oaks spices, and fresh timber are all around. The mouthfeel is almost glorious. Almost. It’s just a little too dry to make it that far. The finish though is the biggest let-down; bitter and dry yet slightly salty and florally. Not a good combination. This one smells amazing, but it’s all downhill from there.
This bottle was distilled in 1996, aged in cask #1974 for 18 years, and bottled un-chill filtered with no colouring at 50.9% in 2014.
The Auchroisk distillery is a relatively young distillery, having been founded in 1972, with the first malt spirit flowing in 1978. The distillery is located in Mulben, near Rothes in Speyside, and was built to complement the Glen Spey distillery for the production of Justerini & Brooks blended whiskies (currently owned by Diageo), which is still where most of its output is used. The distillery has released very few single malts, but has still managed to be branded under three different brands – The Singleton, Auchroisk, and currently; The Singleton of Auchroisk.
Berry Bros. & Rudd are independent bottlers that have been based out of number 3 St James Court in London since the turn of the 18th Century. They started out trading in coffee, cocoa, tea, and spices – items that were in demand, and extremely expensive at the time. Today they focus primarily on wine, whisky, and other spirits, and have been serving Britain’s royal family since King George III. In the world of whisky, they own The Glenrothes brand, King’s Ginger, Blue Hanger, and Berry’s Own.
I’ve had the fortune to sample quite a few of BBR’s whiskies, including several from their Berry’s Own range, and in my opinion they have released some spectacular whiskies, and on average their releases are well above standard. Unfortunately this one is nowhere near one of their better releases – although not a ‘bad’ whisky, in my view it is certainly not a ‘good’ one either; and quite disappointing when viewed alongside many of the other Berry’s Own releases.