Not to much to brag about in the ways of new whiskies available in Norway in the month of March (sale start Saturday 7th). Only three new whiskies arrives this month, all on the “Blue list” – or the order assortement as it were, and all from the same distillery – Auchentoshan. The main reason is that Morrison-Bowmore has changed importers in Norway. Previously it was V&S Norway who imported Morrison-Bowmore’s product, but with Pernod Ricard’s purchase of the Swedish mother company this changed, so now the company Strom (InterBev/Altia) is the importer and putting some muscle behind the brand. This bring the total of Auchentoshans available in Norway up to 5 (the Three Wood is available at Vinmonopolet at the Select through most Duty Free stores). The going rate of exchange is 10,06 NOK to the £.
The new whiskies are:
Auchentoshan 12 Years (449,90 NOK/£44.54) is the first whisky out this month. This replaced the previous 10yo when the new packaging was introduced. A richer and more sherried expression this, with hints of spices following the light fruity notes. A clear improvement in my book, though it would probably have been even better with a bit higher abv (it’s 40% abv). Not exactly cheap, but then again it’s Norway – priced on the same level as JW Green, Balvenie 12yo DW, Glenfiddich 15yo Solera and The Glenlivet 15 French Oak.
Auchentoshan 18 Years (699,90 NOK/£69.61) is a grand example of a aged lowlander. Rich and spicy on the palate with a sherried tone coming through after a while – even though it’s a 100% ex-bourbon maturation. Some very old casks have gone into this mix. Carries the extra 3% abv. compared to the 12yo very well (it’s 43% abv.). Quite good value for Norway.
Auchentoshan 21 Years (900 NOK/£89.51) is a classic avec-whisky, to enjoy after a good (but not to spicy) meal. Pour a glass, sit down in a recliner, light a cigar og pipe and comtemplate over things that were, are and might be – or simply just drink the stuff. A great example of that Auchentoshan needs to age for quite a bit before reching it’s potential, a world away from the Three Wood and the Classic. It’s bottled at 43% abv. Pricewise it’s about the same here in Norway as in Britain, even with the weak pound.