Well I had a recent stint across the pond, and a load of time at the airport before my return. So of course I walked around the duty-free shop looking for something neat that I’ve not seen in a local store. However with a very distinctive color and name (and let’s be fair the brand of Auchentoshan is a friend) the choice was quite obvious.
The color and name come from the unique barrel aging properties of the scotch – in that it’s matured using wine barrels. (Yay a new post tag) Of course we’ve had a few sherry cask scotches (which we’ve not liked), but this is a first for us, and considering the complex flavor I hope it’s a trend (that people knew about in the past because aging-process)
What they Say: “At Auchentoshan, we triple distill every drop, to let smooth, complex flavours triumph. Blood Oak is then matured in casks which once held French red wine – as well as fine American bourbon hogsheads. This develops incredible drama and depth, along with our unshakable smoothness.
Box: Tasting Notes: To the eye. Ruby gold. | To the nose. Raspberry, plums and maraschino cherry. | To the tongue. Blood orange, with nutmeg and ginger. | To the end. Redcurrant, with lingering oak spice. | Pronunciation Notes: People here say ‘ock-un-tosh-un’. How you say it – and drink it – is up to you.”
Taste: 6.0 – It starts off continuing off that smell with a more cognac sweet flavor.
Aftertaste: 7.5 – Then while the wine aging still mingles, it reminds you this not a cognac – it’s a scotch dammit. It also just keep going.
Burn/Smooth: 7.0 – It doesn’t burn, and it does warm quite nicely.
Aroma: 7.0 – It has a very fruity or sweet smell that combines with the scotch. A bit more like a rum or cognac, but still pleasant,
Manliness: 8.5 – They very deftly made it clear that while this has aged in some French wine barrels – it’s a manly color and name. The term Blood Oak signifies more like a blood-stained staff, or like drinking a scotch just after a battle where your face was smashed in and is still dripping into your drink.
W/ Rocks: 5.0 – I don’t like it on rocks here – you get to the aftertaste faster, and it stays for a shorter time. This is definitely a scotch taken neat. (Debates mulling scotch)
Value: 4.0 – I realize this is shorter batch, but it has to compete with other specialty barreled scotches, and on that respect it is a bit higher end. However right now I don’t know of anything with this level of quality doing wine-barreling so it is good value for now.
Google Shop Average: $75
Metric Score: 45/70 |+| Metric Average: 6.43 |+| Reviewer Average: 7.5
Final Thoughts: If you are a fan of Auchentoshan (hint: do that), if you actually enjoy wines or fancy brandies, but still love scotch more – this is a great scotch. I may not give this truly high marks objectively (although it did pretty well), but I love this scotch.