The Valinch was a limited cask-strength release by Auchentoshan in the early parts of the 2010s. As far as I am aware they issued two releases, in 2011 and 2012. This is the latter. It is essentially a cask-strength version of the then-entry level Auchentoshan Classic (nowadays the entry level Auchentoshan is the similar American Oak). Both whiskies were fully bourbon-matured.
Nose: Feels very young, with a lot of sawdust and ginger. There’s the ubiquitous vanilla too, as well as a persistent bubblegum note that I find disagreeable.
Palate: This is an extension of the nose – unfortunately there is not much depth to this whisky, and the youth shows. Water brings out orange peel and makes the bubblegum note stand out even more. Whatever amount I add I just can’t seem to get rid of it.
Finish: Medium, gingery, quite sweet.
Comments: To date, this is the only full-sized bottle I’ve ever bought that I can honestly say I’ve disliked. I’ve tried everything, from different amounts of water to letting it sit for minutes or even hours, to putting the bottle aside and returning to it months and even years later. I wanted to like it but sadly it was not to be.