Auchentoshan Three Wood
Nestled at the feet of the Old Kilpatrick Hill just a toss of the dram glass from Glasgow is the Auchentoshan Distillery. These Dalmuir craftsman have been concocting award winning whiskies since the beginning of the 19th century, one of which is Auchentoshan Three Wood.
As one of just six Lowland distilleries still extant and producing, Auchentoshan (Gàidhlig for ‘corner of the field’) is unique amongst its kin in that it is the only one to practice triple distillation. The purpose of this is to remove as many impurities from the precious nectar as possible, producing a liquid of extraordinary lightness and delicacy. They then mature their spirit in casks which have previously nursed such other tipples as bourbon, sherry or fine wine.
As the name would suggest, however, the Auchentoshan Three Wood is not matured in just one but three casks. Each stage of this process imbues the alcohol with a subtle and yet distinctive trait inherited from the barks’ former tenants. It is first entrusted to an American Oak which once contained bourbon. It is then tenderly handed over to a barrel which formerly cared for a Spanish Oloroso sherry. Finally, the whisky is ceded to an ex Pedro Ximenez sherry cask, where it comes of age and acquires the last of its complex character.
This intricate and refined process has produced a single malt which is popular with connoisseurs and experts the world over. In 2009, along with its 12 Year and Classic Auchentoshan siblings, the whisky won a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Then in 2011, it further won the Overall Best in Class at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition. It just goes to show that the best nips down have to come from north of the Grampians