You’ve read it here on the blog and probably on many other booze sites/blogs. anCnoc released a trio of peated malts recently (more about it here), Two of which will be sold all around and the third Tushkar is a limited edition for Sweden. I’ve been meaning to try those for some time, having missed the “official” twitter tasting. Gladly Lukasz who manages the Inverhouse social media agreed to re-taste this online with a few twitter friends, and we sat to meet at 0700 GMT for a wee tasting session online. I’m a big fan of anCnoc, and was really intrigued to see how good those new NAS peated malts will be. A lot of young NAS peated whiskies suffer from childhood maladies (young, spirit-y and new-makish, and not very complex at times), so this is indeed a challenge when you release NAS peated malts. Previous twitter chats with Lukasz hinted that the malts in those 3 whiskies are not that young (8 years or so and up), so hopefully they would be of higher quality and maturity. OK, enough blabber let’s dive in.
Nose: fruity, (the entire apple/pear/apricot holy trinity) but peaty, way more peaty than you’d think you would get on a 11 PPM whisky, but that’s REAL PPM after distillation and not prior, so that makes sense. some traces of apple/pear and wood, in addition to the peat, and lovely sort of wood smoke, bonfire on a cool autumn day out camping. a lovely smoky feeling to it. The nose is not ultra complex, but it does work for me.
Palate: Wham! A whole more peat than I’d expected even given the nose. starts off ashy and earthy with a light peppery tang, charcoal and wood, then you get some softer fruit in the background, and more of a syrupy sweet backdrop.
Finish: Pepper, oak, and light smoke with a peaty dusty edge.
A mighty tasty dram if i may say so. I was really surprised by the pepperiness (on a talisker scale) and by it being much more peaty than expected, but with the right amount of fruitiness. A classic summer evening, or rather (automn evening in Israel) kind of dram. I want a bottle, and it’s high on my wish list. might not be very complex, but it’s lots of fun.
features 14.8 ppm phenol and matured in a selection of American oak casks.
Nose: This is quite different than Rutter. Less fruity, maybe darker and less sweet, but the peat is not as strong as expected given the jump in ppm. less wood fire, and more peat, and ash, wood and a hint of unripe banana peel. If you give it some time to breathe
Palate: Peat and ripe oranges, quite peppery as Rutter is , still spicy, and getting more BBQ fire notes now, with smoked banana, butter oak.
Finish: Medium with the peat, oranges and creamy oaky thing that’s going on. Not bad.
Less fruity, darker and does not feel more peaty, but also very nice.
This is the peatiest of the threea phenol content of 15 ppm,Matured in 1st refill American ex-bourbon barrels and available only in sweden at Systembolaget.
Nose: Orange peel, peat and ash, grapes, hint of wet hay, some wine gums too, very interesting given the fact this is 100% ex-bourbon casks. no Sherry at all!
Palate: Peppery, spicy, with some of that wet hay and mint, with an edge of wine gums sort of, very interesting influence here for a 100% ex-Bourbon cask whisky (no sherry whatsoever). It’s darker, and sharper, with a citrus tang.
Finish: Long, with peat spice, and a bit of that wine-y thing.
A lovely dram, second only to Rutter. Good stuff all in all.
I am happy to say those 3 new whiskies are better than I had anticipated, while being much peatier than you’d think by the “dry” facts (They measure PPM after distillation while many other distilleries measure the ppm of the barley before the distillation), so 11 ppm is actually quite noticeable. anCnoc have succeeded in preserving the malt profile, and the peat just adds a nice dimension to all three. Well done! Rutter is my #1 choice here, and then Tushkar and Flaughter, they are all rather good, but Rutter shines, with it’s fruitiness,and richness and lightness and darkness at the same time. indeed Light on Dark, like the twitter hashtag suggests.
Many thanks to Lukasz, for the sample, for hosting the 2nd tasting, and for being a nice guy.