Tag Archives: ancnoc

AnCnoc Cutter Review

Distiller: Knockdhu. Region: Highlands. ABV: 46%. No age statement. Price: $55-75.

For me, one of the marks of a first-class distillery is getting the basics right. AnCnoc (the brand of the Knockdhu distillery) is one that does. Their standard 12-year-old is one of the best buys out there for an everyday Highland.

That makes it all the more fun to see their experiments pay off. Cutter is part of anCnoc’s growing Peaty Line, which started with four no-age-statement releases and is now up to seven. All are relatively lightly peated (9-20.5 ppm, vs. 55-65 ppm for Ardbeg 10) and bourbon-matured. The Cutter rings in at 20.5 ppm.

Strong split vanilla bean on the nose. Then toasty malt–malt balls, malted milk. Fruit notes follow: first brandy-soaked poached pear, then shading toward tropical, particularly coconut.

The palate is fresh, on the young side, but substantial enough, no rawness. No brine. The peat is noticeable but gentle, with some of the sweetness and sophistication of Caol Ila, though less citrus. Chocolate cream with roasted peanuts and a sprinkling of toasted coconut. The finish is a warm caramelized pie crust bottom.

AnCnoc does it again. The Cutter should definitely be a part of the distillery’s permanent lineup. And I’ll definitely be trying the rest of the series.

Slàinte, friends! -BO

A company representative graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.

anCnoc 24 Review

Distiller: Knockdhu. ABV: 46%. Age: 24 years. Region: Highlands. Price: $140-160.

Rounding out our recent series of anCnoc single malt reviews, here’s the heavy hitter of the unpeated line: the 24-year-old.

Bottled at a healthy 46% ABV, this is a rare value buy among older single malts. (Any idea what a 24-year-old Macallan would set you back–if they made it?) Interestingly, this bottling is a combination of ex-bourbon cask and sherry-seasoned cask maturation. As a result, it has loads of flavor, but more nuance than you’d likely get from all-sherry maturation.

I think anCnoc hit this one just right. The nose is a huge ripe berry basket, sweet and luscious and just wild enough. The palate is rich and dense, with wild strawberries, raspberry jam, vanilla custard, and a lovely full mouthfeel. The finish is wonderfully long. Along with the fruit come the brambles and branches now. At the end, fragrant black fruit teas and the bottom of a barrel of cherry wine. Very satisfying.

The 24 fulfills the promise that began with anCnoc’s very good 12-year-old, and leaves me feeling all warm and fuzzy about this Highland distillery. Just two questions: 1) Can anCnoc’s peated releases be as good as their unpeated? Can’t wait to find out. 2) Is 24 years too old to be a daily sipper?

I won’t tell if you won’t.

Cheers, friends! – BO

A company representative graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.

anCnoc Blas Review

Distiller: Knockdhu. ABV: 54%. No age statement. Region: Highlands. Price: $65-75.

Summery at long last in LA. I’m celebrating with an anCnoc Blas.

As you may know from my recent rave about the anCnoc 12, I’ve been mighty impressed with the lesser-known Highland distillery of Knockdhu, which releases single malts under the anCnoc brand to avoid confusion with Knockando. The standard-issue 12 is a surefire daily drinker and an outstanding value.

The Blas (Gaelic for “taste”) is no less appealing. It’s a no age statement release, but has the benefit of being near cask-strength at 54% ABV. The special edition labeling is by Scottish tailor and menswear designer Patrick Grant. The exact connection connection between the designer and the distillery is unclear to me, but what matters, as always, is what’s in the bottle.

The nose starts off occluded–packed tight with candied fruits and sweet barrel notes waiting to get out. The palate’s where it really shows its stuff. Slightly overripe fruit salad. Dried orange and lemon peel. Medium body. With some water, all kinds of fragrant wood notes bloom: cedar, clove, fir. The finish rounds out the sweet profile with drier, tannic flavors: Chardonnay barrel and sautéed mushroom. Delicious.

Every bit as enjoyable as the 12-year-old, with the built-in cask-strength fun of drawing nuances out with time and water. Time to pour another.

Cheers, friends! – BO

A company representative graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.

anCnoc 12 Review

Distiller: Knockdhu. ABV: 43%. Age: 12 years. Region: Highlands. Price: $40-45.

For the price, is there a better straight-ahead Highland out there than the anCnoc 12? Even if I find one, I’ll still love this bottle.

anCnoc (pron. a-nock) is the brand name for single malt from the Knockdhu Distillery. It was previously known as Knockdhu, but changed names to avoid confusion with Knockando. Still following?

This standard 12-year-old release is the cornerstone of a quite broad current range, which includes age-stated whiskies up to 35 years, vintage-dated releases, four peated expressions, and multiple special releases.

The 12 is an excellent introduction to the line. Robust enough at 43% ABV, and non chill-filtered, the way it should be. Nose: Reisling! Light, bright, acidic grapey notes, then apple, peach & apricot. First the fresh fruit, then the fruit tree blossoms.

Palate: candied grapefruit. Wildflower honey. (Very lightly) smoked honeycomb. Nice malty core. Further on, buttery toffee. Finish: baklava with a toasty bottom.

Easy daily drinker, great value. Hats off, anCnoc!

Slàinte, friends–and stay tuned for more anCnoc reviews coming soon. – BO

A company representative graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.