This week I got involved in a whisky tasting. Nothing special here you should say. But this one was a Twitter tasting organized by the guys of Edinburgh Whisky. The program this evening consists of three drams, all of the AnCnoc Distillery. We started with the AnCnoc 12, then the AnCnoc 16 and the last one is the AnCnoc 1996 Vintage which is not yet available in the stores. After setting up my tasting space, we (about 20 or so people all around the world) counted down to the 7pm GMT start time. After the go signal was giving by the Alistair Reid (Assistant Manager of the distillery), the tweets were following each other in a strong pace. For me it was my first encounter with the products of AnCnoc. So enough small talk and let’s go to business.
AnCnoc 12 years old
As stated we all started with the standard bottling of AnCnoc. After unscrewing the sample bottles and pouring the stuff into a glass, the nosing and tasting could begin. The nose of the twelve year old is quite delicate and elegant, starting with citrus fruit and some honeyed maltiness. The nose gave me the feeling of nosing (despite of the difference in ABV) of some kind of white Belgium Beer: Fresh, somewhat tart (lemony) and accompanied by a slightly bitterness. After a while something like freshly mowed wet grass comes to mind. The taste was somewhat less sweet, but again the beer-like feeling comes into play. The finish is nice, sweet but dry fading out in a somewhat light nutty bitterness and nutty-spiciness.
Conclusion: Summer dram, light and fresh points: 78, price around € 30
AnCnoc 16 years old
Pouring the sample in the glass, made me notice that the colour is slightly lighter then of the twelve, asking this to Alistair we found out that this one was matured on 2nd refill bourbon casks, explaining the somewhat lighter colour. Nosing this one states the family resemblance with the 12. Same type of nose, but with more power, possibly because this one is higher on the ABV (46%). Nosing it give you anise with citrus fruit, followed by some woodiness (hazelnut to me) and spices (some black pepper). After a while the nose opens up and displays a more vanilla, fruity and some oriental spices, this dram needs it’s time in the glass. The taste, well the pepper comes powerful in play, almost somewhat like a Talisker, its spicy, oh you could count on that. The finish is quite long and again heavy on the spices, mostly the peppery feeling in your mouth will need time to fading away. This one is more of my liking!
Conclusion: Spicy dram but balanced, points 83, price around € 55
AnCnoc Vintage 1996
Pouring the sample in the glass and bringing the glass to my nose: Is this from the same Distillery? The nose caught me by surprise; there must be sherry involved in this one (later on confirmed by the distillery, it matured on a mixture of bourbon and sherry casks). The nose intrigues me, it’s quite dark, robust with some nutty (possible some roasted almonds, peanuts) influences. The taste is even more intriguing: It’s oily, velvety, and somewhat dry (duh) accompanied by some of the 16 years spiciness and salted roasted nuts. The finish is quite long, dry with some bitter chocolate finish. This for me the winner of the evening, not by far.
Conclusion: Wintery dram, more distinct flavours and spiciness of the 16 better balanced by the sherry influence making it the winner of the evening: Points 85, not available yet.