Two tasty anCnoc whiskies – 16yo & 22yo


Earlier this month I was kindly asked by the ‘high heid yins’ at anCnoc to give my thoughts on a couple of their whiskies – the return of the 16yo and the launch of the 22yo. The original post is here, but knowing how impatient most of you are to get your hands on the latest EWB content (!), I’ve published it below for your convenience. Before we go any further, I’d like to place on record my thanks to the folks at anCnoc for supplying me with the liquid and for inviting me to write for their blog. It was a pleasure, guys!

There are a few serendipitous instances in life when we randomly bump into an old friend from school, or a long lost mate from university, which evoke specific debaucherous memories and misty-eyed reminiscence. Sometimes these coincidental happenings are not always pleasant; the person in question may be a dragon of an ex-girlfriend or an insufferable former work colleague for example, but nevertheless there’s a certain nostalgia and particular emotion brought to the forefront of the mind as soon as the connection is made between your retina and your visual cortex. Happily, most of the time these chance events result in hugs and air kisses, or a handshake and a manly “alright mate” at the very least. The most recent occasion that this happened to me was at a whisky tasting in the heart of Edinburgh, where I was reunited with a friend I hadn’t seen for a good while; anCnoc 16yo.

Back in the day she was a frequent mistress of mine, always the first to be consulted when a problem needed a solution and constantly keen for a booty call last thing at night before bed. It was with great sorrow that she drifted off into the sands of time, never to return it seemed. But she’s back, and she’s here to stay… at least for a little while. anCnoc 16yo is now available again in various markets around the world (and here for £62.49), and it’s whilst wearing rose-tinted spectacles that I pour a healthy dram into my glass.

Nose: Lemon cheesecake, sweet grass, fresh cake mix and some fresh flowers. Then there’s some runny honey, faint marzipan and almonds.

Palate: Lashings of vanilla and toffee before a sweet citrus note emerges. There’s a touch of oak to keep things balanced, then warm malt loaf and a hint of sweet pastries.

Finish: Very light and clean with sweet candyfloss kept in check by a dash of oaky spice.

What a pleasure. It’s strange to think that I hadn’t tasted this whisky for over a year, and now I’m starting to wonder why I don’t have a bottle of this on my shelf. Perhaps it’s because I’m lazy, perhaps it’s because the last time I opened my wallet shillings and halfpennies were still legal tender, or perhaps it’s because I’m intrigued by her marauding and mysterious older friend. anCnoc 22yo burst onto the scene earlier this year, and she’s showing a new side to anCnoc (available here for £88). Most of this spirit has been matured in American ex-bourbon casks, with some spirit coming from Spanish ex-sherry casks previously occupied by Oloroso sherry. The devilish black and red packaging hints at what I’m in for, an anCnoc who’s wearing a leather catsuit and brandishing a cat o’ nine tails.

Nose: Rum soaked raisins, gingerbread, dark cherries and mahogany desks and leather bound books. There’s still a freshness though – lime juice, floral notes, Millionaire’s shortbread and chocolate covered almonds.

Palate: Some bitter chocolate and oak hit me first before buttered fruit loaf, cinnamon pastries, nutmeg, cloves, faint roasted peanuts and a dash of white pepper come through. I’m left with the faintest taste of lightly charred wood.

Finish: Long and lingering, cocoa and rich fruit combine before giving way to faint wood smoke.

This dark and smouldering anCnoc really shows the complexity and versatility of the spirit, standing up against rich Spanish ex-sherry casks and still shining through. She’s very different to the younger expressions from this distillery, but by crikey is she fantastic. There are only 950 cases initially being made available in the UK and across the export markets, so you’d better be quick if you like the sound of her.



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