Time to hit the lowlands, more specificaly, the Auchentoshan distillery. This is probably the closest you’ll come to an irish distillery, while still being scottish, in terms of production. It’s tripple distilled, and this particular bottling has been matured in an ex-sherry cask(#484) from 1991 – 2011, and is bottled by A.D. Rattray.
Nose: light licourice and some bitter herbs at first sniff. Not a very typical sherry nose.. Water opens it up a bit and reveals a bitter dark chocolate note. There’s cranberries, grapefruit and some overripe and old watermelon note.. kind of like fermented watermelon.
On the palate: Still some licourice, subtle sweetness.. Bitter chocolate here as well. Water brings out nuts, raisins and chocolate. The bitter chocolate dominates the palate and it get’s a bit too much in my humble opinion. Finish: vegetable note in the swallow, with some espresso notes. Med. length.
Different than anything I’ve tried, but not necessarily in a good way. The bitter chocolate is a bit overpowering, and all in all the malt is not too complex. It does improve with water, and it can take quite a bit of it.