A certain album released in 1973 by some chaps called Pink Floyd caused quite a stir and turned into an immediate success. That album became an iconic piece of music that will continue to fill record shelves for years to come. Many believe that ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ took the band to new realms of popularity…. not that they weren’t popular before. Could this be the same for anCnoc and the new “Dark side of their whisky”?!
If you haven’t heard about these new peaty offerings from anCnoc, then you’ve been in hibernation. In short: This new collection is a blend of anCnoc’s classic light, fruity style but with a dark and smoky twist. They are all bottled at 46% ABV, are non chill-filtered and at natural colour. Good-O! There are three to choose from, all NAS and all distinctly tasty.
Nose: This is peatier on the nose than I was expecting! Lots of apples (apple bubblegum), vanilla and honey. Lemon drizzle cake with a lovely candied sweetness. Some nice earthiness and muddy peat too. All with a gentle hint of spice.
Palate: Nice start on palate. Peppery, mineral note, slight menthol. Beautiful earthy peat smoke and some nice spice on the tongue. Not too heavy a mouthfeel, but it isn’t too thin either. Some creamy vanilla touches that linger towards the finish. Slight liquorice note too.
Finish: I got some apple peal and some charred oakiness on the finish. Slight dryness holds the peat nicely. Summery peat indeed. I would so have this with a summer BBQ, after a few beers on the decking with some quality meat.
Nose: Heavier, muddy and slightly waxy. More rigorous than Rutter. Crunchy apples and dark chocolate. Seems more complex than Rutter. Requires you to think a tad more with some withheld notes that need to open up. I’ve actually got less peat reek to start, before it really opened up. A nice old school sweet shop vibe going on here.
Palate: Slightly gravely on first sip. Some dark stewed apple, with some rich sweetness. Pretty dry too. Lemon sherbets, manuka honey and brown sugar. Some earthiness balanced with tar too. Peat blended into surroundings nicely with a big warming smokey BBQ note.
F: A muddy, oily end to this one (reminded me of my old cricket bat when I used to put linseed oil on it!) Pretty dry too, like very fine sandpaper. But it works nicely. Earthiness, anise and spice to finish off. A campfire on a beach in July, watching the sunset with smoked mackerels. Bam.
Nose: This is again really different. Loads of light, higher scented fruits, caramel and lemon meringue pie. Lots of candied fruits in fact. The peat is playing hide and seek with me…one minute there, the next, gone… Faint notes of bonfire with some seafood too, yet I can’t get over the crazy amount of sweets. I’m getting lemon sherbets and apple chews. My teeth might just fall out when I try this.
Palate: Slightly ashy, light green apples. Big sweetness, but not as much as I was expecting. Also a slight sour note on the back of tongue. Peppercorn sauce too. I like this mouthfeel. Some sweet orange, quite a bit of coconut and vanilla pod. Well integrated with some ashy peaty tones.
Finish: Longest of the lot. Very fresh and vibrant leaving me with a gentle sweetness. Tasty and pretty balanced, but I have to say my least favourite of the bunch (which is good as there’s no chance of me getting hold of this one unless I end up flying to Sweden).
A great offering of interestingly peated whiskies here. I am fan of anCnoc as it is, with their 12yo & 16yo old favourites, but these three really shine. An enjoyable experience, offering a rare opportunity to try a light summery peated option. I can guarantee that these will become incredibly popular as soon as people get the whisky to their lips. If you get the chance to try any of them, then I’d highly recommend it. A bottle of the Rutter will be making it’s way to my house for BBQ season, I know that for sure. Oh and another thing…. for those who say all NAS are lame lifeless whiskies, put these in your pipe and smoke it!
*A big thanks to anCnoc whisky for sending these samples. Very kind indeed*