Sunday, May 31, 2015

anCnoc Single Malt Scotch Seminar Review

This was another great (and free) scotch tasting seminar held at Gordon's in Waltham, MA. The presenter was the ever-entertaining Brian Johnson, the same gentleman who presented at the Balblair scotch tasting a few weeks ago at Gordon's.

anCnoc (pronounced AH-nock, and yes, it's really spelled that way) is produced at a Highland distillery named Knockdhu (meaning Black Hill in Gaelic). So why isn't the whisky called Knockdhu? The story is that the distillers decided to call their single malt by a different name because they wanted to avoid confusion with the spirit from the similarly-named distillery Knockando.

Here are my brief tasting notes from the evening:

anCnoc 12 Year (43% ABV, matured solely in Buffalo Trace bourbon casks): Peppery nose and palate. Spicy and hot. Overall rating: 81.

anCnoc 18 Year (46% ABV, matured 14-15 years in bourbon casks and 3-4 years in sherry casks): Deeper fruit, getting the typical spice from the sherry but rough on the finish. Seems kind of thin. Overall rating: 84.

anCnoc 24 Year (46% ABV, matured 21 years in bourbon casks and 3 years in sherry casks): Pretty straightforward, moderate sherry on the palate, nice lingering balanced bourbon/sherry on finish. Overall rating: 85.

anCnoc 1975 39 Year (44.2% ABV, matured in an unknown mix of bourbon and sherry casks): Holy...this is much better than the first three. I was starting to think my palate was off with those because I was just not excited by them. Rich fruit, super smooth. Nice cooking spices and that deep wood flavor you get from well-aged older single malts. Definitely the star of the evening. Overall rating: 93.

anCnoc Flaughter (46% ABV, matured 7-9 years in bourbon casks, peated at 14.8 ppm phenol): Peat is stronger on the nose than on the palate. Very soft on the palate, nice peat, not overwhelming. Good sweetness behind the peat. A winner. Overall rating: 89.

anCnoc Cutter (46% ABV, matured 7-9 years in bourbon casks, peated at 20.5 ppm phenol): Seems less peaty than Flaughter, despite the higher phenol level. Also super smooth, but less body than Flaughter and a little bitter. Overall rating: 83.

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