Review: Auchentoshan Cooper's Reserve 14 years old

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Number three already? This fella has the tough job of following the glorious Caol Ila that was the second mystery sample kindly provided by Malt Review.

The identity of the malt isn't revealed until the end of the dram and my tasting notes are complete. It's a fun experience and one I recommend you try out with friends or other bloggers. It also makes financial sense as I would have been very disappointed to have purchased this bottle myself. Whereas Mark found it pleasant enough; each to their own which is the beauty of whisky. Right, onto those notes...

Colour: rubbed bronze

Nose: Agh! I'm trying really hard to pinpoint the main characteristic, there's a wine feel to the nose but an overriding star ingredient. Red berries are in the mix along with some leathery notes and marzipan. A menthol component and what I can best describe as bruised herbs; but which one? This is annoying.

Adding water brings out more richness and roasted marshmallows. I'm casting back to the GlenDronach Sauternes finish, which was a similar sweetness on the nose and wine influence. Here's hoping the taste is much better than that dram.

Taste: a very gentle malt this almost grain in its restraint and modesty. Easy sipping but a little too mundane for my liking. Juicy red berries again, a little ash in the background, blackcurrant jelly and a rich stout of all things.

I'm not a huge fan of this chappy. Its not a bad whisky just a little drab and in such a competitive market one to overlook. Maybe its just me but this one was leaning towards a strong bourbon influence - perhaps virgin casks to give the young spirit some flavour?

So it is an Auchentoshan, the Cooper's Reserve to be precise. A travel retail exclusive so one to avoid at the airport in my book. My experience of this distillery is generally of disappointment so this one doesn't break the trend. Still, the best I've ever tasted is the 21 year old Cadenhead's bottled recently which you can read about right here which caught me totally off guard. I'm gonna have to get along to Auchentoshan distillery and bottle my own, one of these days.

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