At Whisky Live Singapore 2017, the AnCnoc booth was a welcome change… with someone who really knows what he is talking about!
Enter Stuart Harvey – master distiller and master blender for Inver House, Keeper of the Quaich and much more. We first met in Mumbai in July 2015 when he came to introduce then conduct a Master Class of Balblair, Old Puteney and Speyburn.
At that time, AnCnoc was not part of their Indian line-up. Given its lighter, elegant Highland character, it is one of those whiskies where you can appreciate it needs to be available where a more nuanced profile is understood. For example, you would never want to shock an anCnoc with a bunch of ice and drown it with water. While not ideal, by contrast the Speyburn could hold up well even with such cavalier serving norms, thank you very much!
But I digress… on to the anCnoc… and fleeting impressions from a quick “speed tasting”…
- Nose – Light, bright, fruity and floral, drizzle of honey, sweet citrus sweet
- Palate – Cereals, soft, subtle, gently complex
- Finish – Fabulous light touch
The 12 year is a perfect sunny afternoon dram, exceedingly easy to drink. Matured in American oak with (did I get this right?) a Fino finish.
- Nose – Sherry sweet and spice, still fruity though now more dried fruit than juicy fresh fruit, floral, vanilla
- Palate – Balanced, continuing with the fruity light pepper spice with a hint of citrus
- Finish – Lovely warm spice
- Water – Opens it up beautifully
A marriage of ex-Spanish sherry casks and American ex-bourbon, if the 12 year old is an afternoon dram, the 18 year slides into an early evening sipper.
- Nose – Intense character, shifting into Christmas cake territory, vanilla custard
- Palate – Full force wood, warm spice
- Finish – Take your time…
The 24 year is clearly a deeper, darker expression than the other two and well worth sampling. If the 18 year is an early evening companion, the 24 year is to pull out late when you just want a little that will go a long way… not rushing the experience.
I wouldn’t mind an opportunity to try it again properly instead of merely speed tasting!
- Whisky Ladies evening with Karen Walker
- Master class with Stuart Harvey
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