Auchentoshan American Oak: The Gateway Scotch
Some of us are open-armed in our whisk(e)y adoration.
If it’s great and it’s brown, we welcome it with hands outstretched, ready to give a big ole brown-liquor bear hug. Then there is the sizable contingent who, while happy to bow to the allure of bourbon, can’t leap over the peat-pond funk of certain well-made Scotches.
Now there’s a bottle to bridge the gap: Auchentoshan American Oak ($40)
Aged in casks that have only ever touched bourbon, the new release is an olive branch being waved in the spirit of brown-liquor unification. The American Wood has the citrusy center of a Scotch and the vanilla bean, lightly caramelized, coconut-cream, toasty character of an American bourbon. A hybrid, if you will.
Other good options to consider: Aberlour 12, rife with richness and full of ripe apple, caramel, and toffee notes, and Glenmorangie, the Original. Like Auchentoshan’s, it’s aged in former bourbon casks and gives you your fix of vanilla and stone fruit from start to finish.
See? We can all get along.
Amy Zavatto is the author of The Architecture of the Cocktail, contributing editor to Imbibe, and the Deputy Editor of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. She really, really, really likes whisk(e)y in all its lovely forms.