Auchentoshan

(aw-khen-TOSH-enn)

Don’t worry if you don't know how to pronounce this - we’ve heard every variation under the sun (for the record, the pronunciation is above:  practice your Scottish velar fricative (‘ch’) for best results).  The name means ‘the corner of the field’, and the field in question is located just outside Glasgow, making this the local distillery of Scotland’s largest city.  This soon revealed itself to be the perfect location for export, as Glasgow rose to become one of the most important ports in the British Empire.

            The distillery traces its origins to at least 1800, although the details are complicated by the unreliability of records from that time.  Situated close to the strategically important Clydeside shipyards, wartime bombing heavily damaged the distillery’s buildings (distilleries look much like industrial facilities from the air) and extensive reconstruction was required after 1945 - it was completely rebuilt in 1969.

            Stylistically, Auchentoshan maintains a commitment to triple distillation, the same technique used by Irish whiskey distilleries to render their produce exceptionally soft and sweet.  In this case, soft certainly does not mean bland:  a grassy, haylike element and notes of coconut form just part of the pantheon of this distillery’s subtle flavourings.