New Heights for the Lowlands

  • Richard Carleton Hacker

When it comes to single malt, most people think of the Scottish Highlands. However, Scotland’s three remaining Lowland distilleries typically produce much gentler whiskies. Most notable of these is Auchentoshan (pronounced “ock-un-tosh-un”), the only distillery that uses triple distillation—a process normally associated with Irish whiskeys—to provide greater finesse to its unpeated single malts.

But now, almost going against its own tradition, there is a heftier, cask-strength version of the normally mild and grassy Auchentoshan Classic. Christened Auchentoshan Valinch ($59.99), it is named after the long copper tubes used by master blenders to extract whisky directly from barrels for nosing and tasting. 

Consequently, Auchentoshan Valinch is non-chill filtered and bottled at a cask strength of 115 proof. Sweet ginger, citrus, and roses abound in alcoholic profusion but can be tamed by adding a wee splash of distilled water to the glass, which brings out more of Auchentoshan’s signature floral characteristics. Only 10,000 bottles of Auchentoshan Valinch are being released, of which 1,200 have been reserved for the United States. It’s the next best thing to being in the distillery with senior blender Jeremy Stephens and securing a sample from his own valinch. (www.auchentoshan.com)

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Paul Dimalanta
At the Judgment of Paris in 1976, a bottle of Chardonnay from the Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena...
As prices for rare Cubans rise, it is getting harder to put a match to the most collectible cigars...
Packshot Factory
Back by popular demand, Supernova is one of the most robust single malts ever produced...
After 22 years of aging, the second installment of the 1992 vintage has reached full maturity…
Now in its 15th year, the wine- and food-filled festival has raised more than $123 million for...
Photo by Cordero Studios
The Arturo Fuente 100th Anniversary Destino Siglo ($416–$520; www.cigar​family.com) is aptly...
Earthy mushrooms, both pungent and delicate, will enhance every sip of these Cabernet Sauvignons,...
HIGHLAND PARK DISTILLERY Highland Park is made today with the same enduring belief and integrity,...
Photo by Cordero Studios
For the longest time, most serious wine drinkers adhered to the notion that California wines did...
The vibrant and deep notes of these wonderful white wines and brilliant rosé Champagne marry...