As you well know I am quite an anCnoc fan, and recently reviewed most of the range after it started being sold locally in Israel (12,18,24 only). anCnoc has three main lines : The regular ones, the Peated ones (all bottled in a distinct bottle) and the travel retail range. I’ve visited a few of the peaty expressions way back in 2014 when they were first introduced (see post here), but since then quite a few additions to the peaty range have emerged, and the latest is the ‘PeatHeart’.
Peatheart uses barley, specified anCnoc Master Blender, malted to 40ppm, then matured in bourbon barrels for over a decade. 40 PPM might sound a lot (it’s almost on the Ardbeg peat scale of 50), but pay attention to the fact that this time around the guys at anCnoc have opted to display the phenol levels BEFORE distillation and not after as they have done with previous peaty expressions , at any rate, at 40 PPM pre-distillation this is their Peatiest expressions to date. let’s try some.
anCnoc Peatheart , NAS , 46% abv, £52 (Master of Malt)
Nose: Starts quite sweet and smokey, mainly on pastries / shortbread and some health cookies which mix well with the smoke and earthy peat, there’s no medicinal qualities to the peat, but it’s quite evident . It’s not exactly on the Ardbeg scale, but it’s not far from that. dry smoke, with some citrus and a lovely creaminess (think vanilla custard, butter). There’s a tobacco leaf edge as well which adds to the complexity.
Palate: Thick peat smoke, with lemon drops, toffee and more earthy peat mixed with wood spice (nutmeg, pepper), vanilla and a touch of milk chocolate as well. well-integrated if i may say so.
Finish : Lemon meringue, and peat smoke.
This is one of my favorite peated anCnocs of all time, having tasted most, this displays great balance of smoke / vanilla and citrus, without feeling ‘too young’ (it’s over 10 yo..). A very enjoyable peated highland indeed, at a good price. Recommended.