Auchroisk (ar-thrusk) is a Speyside single malt distillery that was founded in the 1970s. It is owned by Diageo and mostly used in their wide range of blended Scotch whiskies, especially J&B Rare and Johnnie Walker. As a result, single malts are rare and restricted to just one core bottling and occasional limited editions.
Auchroisk is known for its expressive nutty, malty and spicy style. This makes it popular with blenders. However, the style of spirit produced can be changed depending on blending contract needs. The new make spirit has notes of green apple, honey and cereal biscuits.
Most is matured in American oak ex-bourbon whiskey barrels, with a small percentage also going into ex-sherry casks.
Auchroisk is a large distillery with an annual production capacity of 5.9 million litres. The distillery is equipped with a huge 12 tonne mash tun, which operates 24 mashes per week. There are eight stainless steel washbacks and each runs a fermentation of 53 hours. There are eight copper pot stills - four wash stills and four spirits stills - and these work in pairs. There is also an extensive Diageo warehouse complex close to the distillery. Water for production is taken from the nearby Dorie's Well.
Auchroisk was founded in the early 1970s in response to the whisky industry boom in Scotland at the time. Construction began in 1972 and production started in 1974. It was owned by blenders Justerini & Brooks, part of the International Distillers & Vintners group, and remains one of the key ingredients in the J&B range of whiskies.
Shortly after, the distillery came under new ownership. IDV was purchased by Watney Mann, which in turn later became part of Grand Metropolitan. In 1997, Grand Metropolitan and Guinness merged to form Diageo. They remain the owners of Auchroisk.
The first single malt was a very limited young whisky released in 1978. Almost a decade passed before the next one, which was bottled for the first appearance of The Singleton label. Auchroisk no longer represents the brand with Dufftown, Glendullan and Glen Ord the three distilleries used today.
In 2001 Auchroisk became part of Diageo's Flora & Fauna range with the release of a 10-year-old expression. This remains in the current range over 20 years later. It is the only official product from the distillery. Other limited editions are limited to just a handful of bottlings. These include a 28-year-old in the Rare Malts collection and two in the Diageo Special Releases - a 20-year-old in 2010 and a 25-year-old in 2016. Most recently a 47-year-old was bottled in the 2021 batch of Prima & Ultima. This rare bottle was the first-ever cask filled at Auchroisk from 1974.