By Emma Briones
Despite (or perhaps because of) being situated on the Speyside limits and produces a Highland whisky, anCnoc doesn’t like to be labelled. Perhaps that is maybe why they have been launching some peated whiskies in the past years. Now they’ve gone a little bit further with their latest peated expression: anCnoc Peatheart.
The Knockdhu Distillery, which makes anCnoc, has chosen a peatier barley than in past occasions. This time the Master Blender decided to use a 40 ppm peated barley. If you’re not used to the phenol jargon, this means that anCnoc Peatheart should be as peated as some Lagavulin or Laphroaig whiskies.
The new bottle follows a classic anCnoc style, with the minimalist and contemporary design of the bottle. For this peated expression, anCnoc has chosen a striking aluminium package with black and gold as its primary colours. The highlight of the design is a golden eagle that, according to the distillery, can be seen often flying above the distillery peatlands.
Inspired by the peaty origins of the distillery, anCnoc Peatheart has come to stay. This new, permanent brand extension of a peaty malt has spent around a decade in the cask, all refill American oak. It has been bottled at 46% volume (92 proof).
anCnoc Peatheart is pale amber in color. On the nose, the first impression is full of smoke and terroir. Slowly the peat melts into fruity notes: pears, apples, lemons… It is balanced, carefully blending the smoky side with a fruity sweetness.
The malt starts discreetly in its campaign to blow your mind with its earthy and smoky side. There are notes of smoke and leather that blend with sweet fruits like apples, coconut and soft lemon notes. It has the best of both worlds. On one hand, the earthy and smoky touch, on the other, is classic anCnoc: sweet and fruity, complex. Step by step, it detaches each and every layer, uncovering new aspects of the whisky.
The finish is lingering. It is warm and sweet, with a touch of floral smokiness.
The peated malts from anCnoc get better every single time and anCnoc Peatheart is a great example of that. It is full of smoke but it does not overshadow the other notes on the Scotch. It is wonderfully balanced with a soft sweet side that maintains the distillery character.
anCnoc Peatheart is one of the best (if not the best itself) peated whiskies produced in Gordon Bruce’s “wee distillery” (as he calls it). I cannot wait to see what will be the next peated malt from the distillery. Keep them coming, they are more than welcome.
anCnoc Peatheart is officially available in Europe and it is retailed around £50 and €59.