Auchentoshan 10 years old
Auchentoshan is Gaelic for "corner of the field". The distillery was first licensed in 1823 at the foot of the Kilpatrick hills. Here it has witnessed the great ships of the Clyde, from sailing schooners such as the Cutty Sark to the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth II liners on their maiden voyages. It was rebuilt in 1875, bombed in World War II, repaired in 1949, re-equipped in 1974, and refurbished in the late 1980s.
Its process water is supplied from Loch Katrine and its cooling water is collected in a WW2 bomb crater in the hills. It uses unpeated malt supplied to order, and operates a copper-topped stainless steel mash tun, 4 Oregon pine washbacks, and 3 stills. The spirit emerges from the wash still at 18% alcohol, at 54% from the intermediate still, and at 81% from the spirit still. The intermediate still is charged with low wines from the wash still and removes most of the feints before being distilled for a third time in the spirit still – the result is an output from the spirit still that is the highest strength in Scotland. The whisky is matured in a mixture of American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks, including some Oloroso and Pedro-Jimenez casks that are specially prepared in Spain.
The distillery does not at present have a visitor centre but hopes to open one soon, and tours are available by appointment.