Auchroisk was built in 1972 making it a rather young distillery in comparison to many others around Scotland. In the middle of the moorland it sits within, the white modernist architecture of Auchroisk stands out and is easily noticed as a ‘new era’ distillery. The Auchroisk distillery was initially built by the parent firm of J&B, who wanted to add to their already impressive portfolio of Speyside distilleries such as Strathmill, Glen Spey and Knockando.
After solely producing whisky for blends for over 10 years, the first bottling of single malt from the Auchroisk distillery was released in 1986. This was the first bottling to possess the prefix of ‘Singleton’, a now more common name attached to single malts from Dufftown, Glendullan and Glen Ord. Despite some early interest from judges and writers, the growth to worldwide brand never quite happened.
Auchroisk were the first to introduce finishing, whereby 10-year-old ex-Bourbon matured whisky is decanted to ex-sherry casks for two more years. However, they failed to make this a well-known fact and did not advertise the use of this process. Doing so, they allowed the likes of Glenmorangie and Balvenie take the credit for the technique and benefit from the brand awareness/growth off the back of it.
Initially Auchroisk had an issue of establishing a reliable and suitable water source. Tests were on going at a few sites and finally Dorie’s well in Banffshire was deemed to be of acceptable quality of the distilling of single malt whisky. The distillery currently produces over 3 million litres of malt each year.
Most of the whisky produced goes to the J&B blended Scotch whisky, however there are a good number of independent bottlings available. The most common single malt from Auchroisk would be considered the 10-year-old of the Flora and Fauna series.
The distillery characteristics are pretty standard from the Speyside region. The heavy character is produced by quick fermentation after a quick mashing followed by a rapid boiling regime. This slightly burnt/singed trait turns into a honey sweetness once matured. This leaves an unpeated, light aroma as well as a certain level of spiciness and sweetness.