2011’s Valinch — a cask-strength version of Auchentoshan Classic — was a real knockout, so the Lowlands-based distillery is back with a follow up for 2012.
This edition (still no age statement) offers a substantially different sipping experience. On the nose, there’s a distinct and overwhelming green olive character, tempered by notes of pine needles and brown butter. I can’t say I’ve experienced anything quite like it on the nose of any other whisky.
The body has more of an astringency to it, plus some sweetness to back up those odd olive notes. It’s got a bit of a brown sugar and burnt honey character, backed up with some hints of coal fires burning beneath. Water dilutes things but doesn’t really change the character much or bring out anything new.
Altogether this is a decidedly strange whisky that doesn’t entirely hang together. Curious more than anything.
114.4 proof. 1300 bottles available for U.S.