Single Malt Connoisseurs Club


Members of our buyers' club share an enthusiasm for the malt elixir in the most practical way, by saving time and money. No initiation or fees of any sort are charged. We simply ask that you undertake to remain in the club for the period of one year. As a club member you will receive a carefully selected, often unique bottling, complete with background information, shipped directly to your home or office every other month. The first club, the Single Malt Connoisseurs' Club, has a limit of $94.99, per shipment usually less, on the cost of the bottle itself. (Does not include tax and or shipping)

In July 2015 our members received: 

Auchentoshan 15 year Alexander Murray

This month’s club comes from that rare thing in Scotland: a suburban distillery. A ten mile drive from downtown Glasgow, this distillery has long been associated with its city neighbors to its Southeast. Thus the tag line for Auchentoshan has been “Glasgow’s Malt Whisky.” If you find yourself in Glasgow with time to kill, rumor has it that a twenty minute cab ride brings you to Auchentoshan and a pretty good distillery tour.

What makes Auchentoshan special is echoed in its very name. Auchentoshan is a derivative of Gaelic phrase Achadh an Oisein meaning “the field of the corner.” With its Gaelic name and atypical (for Scotland) method of distillation, the prehistory of Auchentoshan is reputed to involve Irish settlers carrying their penchant for triple distillation to their new home and enterprise at the mouth of the River Clyde. This brings us to Auchentoshan’s other tag line from a different, boozier time: “the breakfast whisky.” The reference to breakfast whisky, jarring as it is to modern sensibilities, relates to the method of distillation that is employed in the production of Auchentoshan. The spirit is triple distilled to a higher alcohol percentage than is the Scottish norm. In Ireland, where the mash bill includes both grain and malted barley, a big pot still does not complete the distillation process in two simple distillations. The consequence of this extra distillation is that the spirit exits the still at a higher proof for a prettier and lighter style of whisky. The vast majority of Scottish distillers employ double distillation, both because that is all that is required for a pot still with malted barley, and because it produces a more flavorful new make spirit. Auchentoshan is the primary distillery to highlight their triple distillation process, though the independent Men and Women in Campbeltown also use triple distillation for their Hazelburn line of products.

Auchentoshan ownership may have begun with Irish settlers, but recent history has echoed the consolidation and growth of the Spirits industry. The modern Auchentoshan began when it was acquired by Eadie Cairns in the late 1960s. In 1984, as Ronald Reagan was being reelected, Auchentoshan was bought by Morrison Bowmore. In 1989 the Suntory Group of Japan acquired an interest in Morrison Bowmore, and bought the company outright in 1994. As followers of the court intrigue in the Drinks industry know, Suntory purchased Jim Beam a year ago, making Auchentoshan a stablemate of Yamazaki and Bookers. As the prettier and less earth driven style of the Lowlands is coming back in vogue, expect to see Auchentoshan more and more, especially with the combined might of Beam and Suntory.

The nose of this 15 year old Auchentoshan is light with dried fruits, heather, dried white flowers, and Mexican Vanilla tones. The palate echoes the aromas with heather, vanilla, cream and citrus fruits. This pretty and precise style works with warmer weather, so enjoy on the back porch or pour into a flask to enjoy it in the Great outdoors.