Auchentoshan Valinch 2011 – Single Malt Cask Strength Review.

Auchentoshan Valinch 2011. 57.5%


A tube for drawing liquors from a cask by the bunghole.

The Auchentoshan Valinch was introduced into the stable of Auchentoshan’s catalogue in 2011, this review is sampled from that first release. It’s basically a cask strength version of the Auchentoshan Classic which you would find in several high street shops. It’s interesting to note despite its CS nature the colour is much lighter than the Classic suggesting little or no colour stabilisation is in this release. An excellent sign!


An exceptionally lively but crisp aroma. Strong citrus notes hold, with lemon sherbets, icing sugar and sweet shops abound. The nose holds all my childhood joys of the corner shop!


Surprisingly i find this not as nippy as some cask strengths. Don’t get me wrong it is warm, just complimentary to the other flavours. Lots of citrus. Lemon/lime peel, sweet and sour, hot pepper, very pleasant indeed at full strength.


Medium with plenty of citrus, peels and pepper heat.

With a small drop of water.

The nose develops more sweet shop depth, with some intense lemon and pear drops added to the increasing powdered sugars. Time in the glass releases some of the more familiar vanilla and bourbon influenced notes.
The palate is pretty similar to full strength but with the heat dumbed down.

A little more water

Getting parma violets now! This dram can take a fair drop of water, but i find it weakens the palate and finish more than the nose, and so the enjoyment for me withers with too much water.

Would I water?

Would stay with 1 good dollop in a 3-4cl measure. (Dollop – that’s scientific for you!)


It’s a fantastic dram. Excellent starter for a mini tasting session and something to challenge those who think they can guess their whiskies. It’s one of those that’s a never ending surprise when it comes to savouring, as you can find something a little new every time you go back to the glass.

Also as far as value for money goes, at around £35-£40 a bottle it goes a very long way and provides a lot of enjoyment. Thumbs up to Auchentoshan for producing a Whisky which will be the talk and highlight for many for a long time.


Hammerhead 1989 Czech single malt Whisky review.

    Hammerhead. 1989 Czech single malt Whisky.

There’s a nice story to go with this malt. As to its authenticity or if its good marketing, well. That’s a matter of opinion I suppose. I’d like the story to be true in all honesty.

Colour. Amber +2 I think. Can’t imagine any e150 in this one.

Straight up.

Nose. Lemon tart. Citrus. A little soap. After 10 mins in the glass. Rich lemon polish. Honey floral sweet. V fresh. Slight curry powder in background.

Palate. Light. Crisp. Watery. Pepper. Citrus. Smooth.

Finish. Drying citrus. Lemon peel. Light clean malt.

Small drop of water.

Nose. More subtle wood spice – cardamom – curry!. Less citrus. Still very light and have to search for aromas.

Palate. Drier and sweeter! If that makes sense! Think small drop has killed it a little.

Finish. More malt. Less citrus. Just after publishing this review I took another swig and found some more recognisable old wood notes. Aged Sawdust.

With or without water?. Hmmm. Tough one. I would say a small drop makes nose open up a little more but kills the fruity taste and makes it a little more bland on the palate. Finish is much of a muchness either way.

Conclusion. Very easy drinking. Its all about the citrus with this dram. Is that a standard pot still effect? As for its age, 20+ year old? Hmmm. Doesn’t feel that old. Still very fresh and clean tasting. Nonetheless it’s a very pleasant experience.

This review was on a freshly opened bottle. As such I will revisit it in a month or two and see if the review stands. Maybe post an update if there are wild differences! 🙂

Thanks to my fellow malt mate Roman Matoska for the bottle! Cheers dude!





Trooper Trooped



Ok,  I know Im sad, but in the light of the good news coming out from Disney on the new Star Wars movie, old cast members from the good trilogy (Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill) coming back, and JJ Abrams directing, I had to post a piccie whisky stylee to celebrate. 


So,  Cheers!  There’s one.  Set for Drammage!