Whisky Tour – Auchentoshan Distillery

“It was a cold, rainy day” – that’s how most stories begin, right? No, you say? Oh well, even if it’s not the truth most of the time (especially here in Israel), it was true for the day we visited Auchentoshan Distillery.

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Auchentoshan is one of 3 distilleries in the lowlands region and is a unique distillery – they are the only distillery in Scotland producing exclusively triple distilled whisky. They are also the closest distillery to Glasgow, situated in 100% urban environment. This of course means that many people visits it – especially on a rainy days where people were looking for indoor activity and an excuse to have a dram ūüôā

Our group was over 15 people making it almost unmanageable and our tour guide had to shout so everybody will hear her and she had to repeat safety instructions a couple of times.

But overall, quite surprisingly, the tour it was real nice and cozy. Easy to pass route through all stations, with many signs and posters detailing the distillation process with the ability to take pictures in most places (but not in the warehouse).

The guide was reasonably knowledgeable, although I had the feeling that the explanations sounded a bit mechanical, probably the result of repeating them so many times, and also a bit flat and not as detailed as wished (I guess most Auchentoshan visitors aren’t so avid whisky geeks).

Here are a couple of pictures for your enjoyment:

auchentoshan mash tun

Auchentoshan Mash Tun at work

auchentoshan washbacks

Auchentoshan washbacks (4 in total)

auchentoshan stills

Auchentoshan 3 stills (and the spirit safe)

auchentoshan triple distillation

Explaining Auchentoshan Triple distillation process

After the tour, we went to the very large bar/tasting room where we sat down and tasted drams of Auchentoshan Classic. 12 yo and 18 yo. As expected, in Auchentoshan style, they were gentle and smooth. In addition we tasted a few drops of their nice cream liquor which is less sweet than Baileys Irish Cream and very tasty.

The staff at the distillery visitors center was warm, friendly¬†and hospitable. They did me a favor and helped me with my request for a 20cl bottle from the 1996 cask. Usually, during the tour you cal fill your own bottle for standard bottle size (70cl), but the smaller size is pre-filled by the distillery workers and is sold on the shop at the visitors center. However, at the time we were visiting, there were no bottles from the 1996 cask at the shop, but after explaining them we came from far away, they allowed me to fill the bottle from the cask. Was it worth the extra effort? You will find out in another blog post ūüôā

Distillery In a nutshell

Name: Auchentoshan
Owners: Morrisson Bowmore (Suntory)
Location: Dalmuir, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire
Water source: Loch Cochno/Loch Katrine
Stills: 1 Wash still, 1 Middle still, 1 Spirit still
Capacity (yearly): 1,650,000 Litres

Tour in a nutshell

Tours availability: 10am/12pm/1pm/3pm (Classic Tour)
Cost of tour: £6 (Classic Tour) / £25 (Experience Tour)
Length of tour: 1 hour / 1.5 hours
Distillery Exclusive bottles: Bottle your own (currently a 2001 cask), full bottle for £65, 20cl for £20.25
Food: No

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