Showing posts with label Knockdhu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knockdhu. Show all posts

AnCnoc 12 Years Review - AnCnoc 18 Years Review - AnCnoc Peatheart Review


“AnCnoc Three Times”

Whisky Review # 857

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands
Brand: AnCnoc
Distilled at: Knockdhu
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Refill Ex-Bourbon Casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 30-40 (February 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay, especially if you can get it at around US$ 30.
Buying Advice: 👎It's not bad but at 40% it's way too Thin. Not recommended 

Colour: Yellow Gold (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Light, Fruity, Floral, Sweet, Sour, a little Thin and slightly Dusty. There is some Alcohol as well so please give this AnCnoc sufficient time in the glass and nose along the brim of your glass. The Nose is a bit underwhelming.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Grains, Sweet Barley, Grass & Straw, Yeast, Wax, Green Apple, Lemon, Grapefruit, Gooseberry, Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Buttered Toast, Honey, Floral Soap, Nuts, Apricot-filled Puff Pastry, Wet Stones, Dirty Track, Wet Newspaper, Metal, Unripe Banana dusted w/ Nutmeg, Pineapple and Mandarin.



Palate:

Light, Thin, Bitter-Sweet, Dry, Sour & Salty. The ABV of 40% is definitively too low in this case. The Aromas and Flavours are there somewhere but they are not presented in the correct way.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Sweet Barley, Grass and Straw, Yeast, Green Apple, Grapefruit, Lemon, Gooseberry, Pepper, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Licorice, Tobacco and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Salted Caramel, Sugar, Vanilla, Honey, Smoke, Mixed Nuts/Dried Fruit, Clove, Dusty Refill Oak, Cocoa Powder, Dried Herbs, Floral Soap and Mandarin.

Finish:

Short, Bitter-Sweet, Sour, Salty, Watery & slightly Hot. The Bitterness increases towards the Dry end. The Alcohol is quite present. I find Toasted Grains, Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Floral Perfume, Lemon, Grapefruit, Gooseberry, Seville Orange, Honey, Nuts, Green Apple, Pear, Dried Herbs, Leather, Tobacco,  Pepper, Cinnamon, Dusty Oak, Licorice and a faint whiff of Smoke.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the small size of the sample I only tasted this AnCnoc neat.

Rating: 82

Nose: 21- Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

The Knockdhu distillery was founded in 1893 by DCL in the little village of Knock very close to Huntly (Aberdeenshire). It was mothballed in 1983 but reopened in 1989. Until 1993 the whisky was called Knockdhu but the owners decided to rename it to AnCnoc to avoid any possible confusion with the whisky produced at Knockando, a Diageo distillery in Speyside. The new owners are Inver House Distillers, part of Thai Beverages PLC. The beautiful distillery currently produces 1.7 million litres of Alcohol per year. The core range includes the 12, 18, 24 & 35 years and the Peatheart.

The 12 Years was re-introduced in 2003. It usually gets very reasonable or even good critics but I beg to differ here. It's not a bad Single Malt and the Aromas and Flavours are there somewhere below the surface. But the low ABV does not succeed to transport same towards Nose and Palate. It's way too Thin this way and that's a pity. The Price/Quality ratio is okay I suppose but I wouldn't buy a full bottle of the the 12 Years anyway due to the lack of body.

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Whisky Review # 858

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands
Brand: AnCnoc
Distilled at: Knockdhu
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Mix of 2nd Fill Ex-Bourbon Casks and 2nd Fill Ex-Oloroso Wood
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: Around US$ 80-100 (February 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍Okay/Good. An 18 Years can't be cheap these days!
Buying Advice: 👍 Interesting Sherried Highland Malt with character.

Colour: Dark Amber with shades of Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Quite Sweet with lots of Sherry cask influence in the form of Dried Fruit & Nuts. There are a few Sour and Bitter notes as well that provide some balance. The Alcohol is noticeable so please nose around the edges of your glass where you will pick up a nice Peach note.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Honey, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Plums, Toasted Nuts, Toasted Pineapple sprinkled with Cinnamon, Orange, Peach, Sugar, Chocolate, Cardamom, Ginger and Nutmeg.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Butterscotch, Mango, Banana, Apple, Pear, Gooseberry, Polished Leather, Glue, Tobacco, Dusty Track, Old Newspapers, Mint, Aniseed, Licorice, Herbal Tea and Musty Oak.



Palate:

The Sherry influence is quite clear again. A touch of Rubber perhaps but nothing too serious. Sugar, Dried Fruit, Nuts and Spices are in the lead. The Palate does feel a little Thin for an 18 Years old. Quite Dry as well. A mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Sweet Barley, Honey, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins and Dates, Apple, Pear, Straw, Orange, Lemon, Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Clove, Ginger and Nutmeg.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Salted Caramel, Butterscotch, Brown Sugar, Peach, Gooseberry, Musty Oak, Espresso, Cinnamon, Aniseed, Licorice, Menthol and Tobacco.



Finish:

Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet, slightly Hot and quite Dry and a little Salty towards the end. I find Toasted Grains, Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Honey, Toffee, Dried Fruit like Raisins & Dates, Peanut Butter, Toasted Nuts, Oak Char, Apple, Pear, Dark Chocolate, Espresso, Sugar, Polished Leather, Straw, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Nutmeg, Menthol and Licorice. A touch of Smoke & a sprinkle of Lemon.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the small size of the sample I only tasted this AnCnoc neat.

Rating: 86

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

I liked the 18 years much better than its younger brother the 12 years. It has more balance and matured in better casks. The Sherry cask influence is quite substantial suggesting some active casks on that side. Like the 12 Years it feels a little Thin, especially on the Palate. But it does show character and presents enough interesting Aromas and Flavours to justify buying a bottle, Cheers!
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Whisky Review # 859

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands
Brand: AnCnoc Peatheart (40 PPM) - Batch 1
Distilled at: Knockdhu
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 55-65 (February 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎 Too expensive when compared to Young Islay Malts.
Buying Advice: 👍Young but tasty peated Single Malt. Too expensive though.

Colour: Chardonnay (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young and Light. The Peat and Smoke are quite similar to Young Islay but less intense. The Alcohol is there so make sure to wind your Nose around it. The Nose is Sweet and slightly Medicinal. The Fruity tones remind me of Orchard & Citrus Fruit. It's okay I guess but very young and timid.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Dough, Grass & Straw, Cold Smoke, Dirty Earth (Peat), Iodine, Band-Aid, Tar, Green Apple, Lemon, Ginger, Menthol and Tobacco.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toasted Grain, Heather-Honey, Salted Toffee, Ashes, Soot, Orange Peel, Nuts, Artificially Flavoured Candies (Pineapple, Pear), Cocoa Powder, Wet Stones and Sand, Herbal Tea and Bacon on the BBQ. A hint of Varnish.



Palate:

Young, Sweet, a bit Nervous and a little on the Thin side but certainly tasty. I feel that Knockdhu would be able to create a truly wonderful matured peated AnCnoc. I hope they will do that in the future! The Palate is quite consistent with the Nose although the Peat and Smoke tend to dominate the Fruity notes somewhat. It's still a little unbalanced but, again, shows character.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Malted Barley, Vanilla, Grass and Straw, Campfire Smoke, Wet Peat, Tar, Soot, Iodine, Band-Aid, Bacon & Pork on the BBQ, Green Apple, Lemon, Orange and Grapefruit, Pepper, Ginger, Cardamon, Leather and Cocoa Powder.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Salted Toffee, Dough, Ashes, Wet Stones/Sand, Pear, Toasted Pineapple, Herbal Tea, Cinnamon, Salted Nuts, Aniseed, Licorice and Tobacco.



Finish:

Middle-Long/Long, mainly Sweet, Spicy & slightly Hot. The Sweetness becomes very Sugary after a few minutes. That's a real pity. I find Sweet Barley, slightly Burnt Toast, Vanilla, Dough, Salted Toffee, Heather-Honey, Green Apple, Pear, Lemon, Orange Peel, Grapefruit, Campfire Smoke, Wet Peat, Soot, Tar, Iodine, Cocoa Powder, Espresso, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Aniseed, Menthol, Licorice and Leather.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the small size of the sample I only tasted this AnCnoc neat.

Rating: 84

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

The Peatheart was released in 2017 and at 40 PPM it's the peatiest Whisky by Knockdhu until now. It was named after the peat bogs surrounding Knockdhu which are described as the heart of Scottish peatlands.

The Peatheart is an interesting alternative if you like Young Islay malt. It's not very competitive though when compared to the likes of Ardbeg and Laphroaig. After having reviewed and tasted these three AnCnoc expressions I found two common problems that affect them all. The first one is the price. Knockdhu is not a very well-known distillery and their prices should be a little easier despite the fact that the remote location will likely increase their production/distribution costs. The second item relates to the body of Knockdhu Whisky. All three of the reviewed Whiskies show a slightly Thin body despite the correct ABV of the 18 Years and the Peatheart. I think this is something that the distillery should look at as it compromises the mouth feel of Knockdhu Single Malts. Other than that I truly believe that the characterful Whisky of this distillery could become a very good alternative for those who get thoroughly bored by today's Mainstream Malt Madness. We visited the distillery in May last year and I can totally recommend a visit. The number of visitors is still small and you will receive all the attention you need although the Visitor Centre is still rather simple. But the beautiful lay out of the distillery and its surroundings more than make up for that!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                February 3, 2020

All Pictures were taken during our visit in May 2019

anCnoc Cutter Review


“Guilty Pleasure” 

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland (Eastern)
Brand: anCnoc Cutter (Limited Peated Edition 20.5 ppm)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Distilled at: Knockdhu
Age: NAS
ABV: 46%
Chill-Filtration: No
Whisky Review # 576
Buying Advice:😐 Interesting alternative for Peat lovers. Stay away if you're not into Young Peated Whisky. Perhaps a little too expensive!

Colour: Pale Straw/White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose: The Peat Aroma is surprisingly coastal for a peated Highlander. I find Iodine, Campfire Smoke, Dusty Earth, light Soot and Tar, Cigar Ashes, Salted Meat on the BBQ, Sweet Malted Cereals, slightly Burnt Toast, Toffee, light Cocoa Powder, Mocca, Salted Nuts, light Vanilla, light Heather-Honey, Demerara Sugar, Charred Oak, Lemon Peel, Herbs (Mint), a little Dark Chocolate and some Mineral/Metallic notes. The Alcohol is not fully integrated and comes across as a little aggressive. There are some Fruity notes but they are hidden under a screen of Peat. Give the Cutter some time in the glass and you will find some Nectarine. On the Nose the Cutter is not unpleasant but the Peaty Aromas are very dominant and the Alcohol is a little harsh. The Cutter could have done with some more time in the cask, that's for sure. 

Palate: Quite Young, a little Edgy but still quite interesting. I find Dusty Earth, Campfire Smoke, Cigar Ashes, Soot and Tar, Iodine, Toasted Cereals, slightly Burnt Toast, Salted Nuts, Dried Herbs, Leather, Apple Juice or Cider, Nectarine, light Vanilla, Citrus Peel, Lemon-Pepper, Aniseed, Espresso and Dark Chocolate.    
Finish: Quite Long, Peaty, Spicy and Fruity with Dusty Peat, Campfire Smoke, Cigar Ashes, Iodine, Soot and Tar, slightly Burnt Toast, Bread Dough, Toasted Cereals, Apple, Pear, Lemon - and Orange Peel, Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Aniseed, Salted Nuts, Grapefruit Juice, Leather, Espresso and Dark Chocolate. This is my favourite part of the Cutter.

I added a little Water and the Nose becomes quite Floral while the Peat and Smoke retreat. Quite Fruity and a little Floral as well on the Palate. The Finish is a bit on the Short Side this way. Still, you can carefully experiment with a couple of drops.

Rating: 85.5

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 21.5


General Remarks: The Knockdhu distillery was constructed in 1893 by DCL. It closed 90 years later in 1983 but was acquired in 1988 by Inver House Distillers Ltd. Production started again in 1989. Most of the whisky is used in blends like Haig, Hankey Bannister and Pinwhinnie. In 1993 Knockdhu started to market its Single Malt under the name anCnoc. They did this to avoid confusion with the Knockando distillery in Speyside. The core range consists of the 12, 18 and 24 Years. In 2014 some Limited Peated Editions were launched under the names of Rutter, Laughter, Tushkar and Cutter, all of them tools used in the extraction of Peat. This peated range was replaced in 2015/2016 by Rascan, Peatlands and Stack. The anCnoc Cutter I'm reviewing today was the peatiest whisky of the 4 released in 2014 with 20.5 ppm, measured over the finished Malt. It matured in Ex-Bourbon casks. It is still available in places at an average price of around 55 US Dollars (November 2016).   

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: I kinda liked the Cutter although I probably shouldn't have. It's a Young Whisky, it's still rather immature and the Peaty Aromas and Flavours are quite dominant while the Alcohol is noticeable. But somehow there's just enough Fruit and Spices to keep things interesting. The Finish is really long considering the relatively short maturation. It's also surprisingly Briny and Coastal for a non Islay Whisky and in a Blind Tasting the Cutter could have been easily identified as a young Islay Malt. It's not very cheap for a NAS whisky but I have to admit that the people at Knockdhu did a decent job here. I feel that many of you might disagree with me on the Cutter as it's easy to consider it to be just a Young, Peaty NAS whisky. But take your time with this one as I did and you might come to respect the Cutter. A bit of a Guilty Pleasure, this one!

Jan van den Ende                                                              November 24, 2016