$$$ — 43% ABV — 12 years
The closest distillery to Glasgow, Auchentoshan [ahh-en-toe-shen] is a very unusual Scottish distillery. Like Irish whiskey, Auchentoshan triple-distills their spirit. This used to be a somewhat common practice among the Lowlands distillers, possibly due to the large Irish emigrations of the 19th century brought on by the Great Potato Famine. It's rumored even that Auchentoshan was founded by an Irishman.
With three stills, it's only fitting their most popular whisky would be their Three Wood. The spirit is matured in Bourbon casks, as well as sweet Oloroso and even sweeter Pedro Ximenez sherry casks before being bottled.
If you're looking for the word to describe what you hate most about scotch it's phenol, and you won't find it here. Auchentoshan is not peated, and not even a bit smoky. The Bourbon wood brings some cinnamon spice and maybe even some of the citrus flavors, but it's mostly dominated by those dark fruit and creamy nut flavors from the sherry wood — but much, much less raisin.
It's the perfect dram for fans of what's called the "sherry bomb," which is a bit of a misnomer. While the "peat bomb" is certainly that, a bomb going off and up your nose, the sherry bomb is more like a fruit parade, marching across the tongue in velvet shoes. Ridiculous imagery aside, the Auchentoshan Three Wood is a great entry point for scotch, especially for those who don't know where to begin.