Auchentoshan American Oak and local beer create a perfect cocktail combination

Auchentoshan has recently introduced a new single-malt scotch, the American Oak. To honor this newest release Auchentoshan Ambassador Robin Nance and Master Cicerone Pat Fahey have joined forces to create a series of inventive cocktails, two of which combine the American Oak with premium American beer. At a recent event on the stunning rooftop of III Forks Restaurant, I was able to sample the two scotch/beer cocktails and have included the recipes at the end of this post.

First, it’s important to understand this newest offering in the Auchentoshan line. Auchentoshan American Oak is the first ever Auchentoshan to be matured exclusively in first fill ex-bourbon casks, made from 100-year-old oak trees grown in the North American mountains. The barrels used for American Oak maturation are first seasoned with American bourbon whiskey, which serves to remove the harsher bitter oak tannins and break down the oak to release even more vanilla, coconut and silky maturation oils. 

Auchentoshan prides itself in its unique tradition of triple distilling every single drop. This means that the spirit produced reaches 81.5% alcohol by volume, significantly higher than most single malt whisky distilleries in Scotland. The lightness of the liquid enables it to more readily absorb every characteristic it is exposed to in the cask. Auchentoshan creates a smooth and complex spirit that ages beautifully in first fill ex-bourbon casks.

The triple distillation makes Auchentoshan an accessible, easy-to-drink Scotch and one that is very appealing to bourbon drinkers. In fact, Auchentoshan Ambassador Robin Nance refers to the American Oak as “the gateway drug for bourbon lovers” and having tasted it recently, I can attest to this truth.  This also makes it immensely mixable in a cocktail and there is probably not a more ‘different’ cocktail than a beer cocktail.

At the III Forks event, Auchentoshan Ambassador Robin Nance and Master Cicerone Pat Fahey offered samples of two intriguing cocktails. In a nod to the superior quality of Chicago beer, the two cocktails featured beers from both Revolution and Lagunitas.


“It’s Bitter To Be Hoppy” is a brilliant riff on the classic Negroni with fascinating layers of flavor. If you know there is IPA in the glass, you will probably taste it but you can serve this without revealing the ingredients and your friends will be hard-pressed to guess just what has created this delightfully bitter cocktail.

  • 1.5 parts Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • .5 parts Aperol
  • .25 parts Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 6 dashes Lemon Bitters
  • 2.5 parts Lagunitas IPA

Stir all ingredients and strain into a coupe. Garnish with lemon wheel.



“Lemon Tell You Somethin’ Honey” is a dangerously easy-to-drink cocktail – a version of what I might call a “patio pounder” for a hot summer day. The combination of scotch, honey syrup, lemon, and wheat beer creates a light, sweet/tart cocktail that is tremendously refreshing.

  • 1.5 parts Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • .5 parts Honey Syrup (1:1)
  • 1 part Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 parts Revolution Bottom-Up Wit (Belgian-style wheat beer)

Build in a rocks glass filled with ice. Stir. Garnish with lemon peel. To create Honey Syrup: 1 part honey to 1 part water, boil and cool before using.

For more information about Auchentoshan, visit the website and follow their social media conversations on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photos courtesy of Gabi Porter








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