From the Knochdu distillery founded way back in 1893 in Speyside and part of the Inverhouse group who also bring you Balblair, Old Pulteney and Speyburn. Producing a more contempary malt than some, Ancnoc is almost certainly aiming at a younger audience. I can remember recommending it to many whisky drinkers of an older generation, gents who had been drinking Dalwhinnie and Cragganmore for years. They’d take one look at it, then look at me and quickly retreat to the old-style looking whisky they were used to. Of course truth is they would most likely get on with it and 90% of the time if I had some open and they tasted it they were sold. Goes to show though how something so simple can affect people’s opinions.
I always think it’s funny how companies pitch there whiskies – how some focus on tradition, some on innovation, others on other styles of spirits. I think AnCnoc get a good mix of the three. Packaging is almost irrelevant to me. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to buy whisky in a cardboard milk-style carton or a plastic bottle. If all of a sudden they started bottling the iconic Pulteney in a dumpy square bottle, I wouldn’t necessarily approve. But for me, and a lot of other enthusiasts, it is all about the whisky and not the lacquered box or the velvet bag which can bump up the price and take up valuable whisky shelf space.
AnCnoc’s whikskies for me are a great example of a nice easy-going malt, perfect for the whisky-phobe, but with still more than enough flavour, spice and guts to keep the enthusiast satisfied. The range represents good value for money and should be fairly easy to find in your nearest specilaist whisky/spirit shop, or of course on-line.
This release is a small batch vintage bottling which AnCnoc release each year. This one uses a combination of exâ€“Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks and it is also un-chillfiltered with natural colour. This release was bottled in February 2012 and maybe a little trickier to find than its 12 and 16yo brothers.
Light, candied and clean.
Softer than most AnCnoc’s I’ve tried and offering more complexity and depth than say the 12 or 16. A really lovely, soft, delicate fruitiness with an almost creamy and slightly honied flavour.
Really good length and full of sweet spice.
Overall a great whisky, clean and really well balanced, neither the Sherry or the Bourbon showing dominance and easily slips down, offering up some really tasty malty flavour and very good to drink. A Winner.