The Highland single malt makers at anCnoc have released two new whiskies to their peated range of expressions.
Available now is the anCnoc Sherry Cask Finish Peated Edition and anCnoc Peatheart Batch 3, made by Knockdhu Distillery Manager Gordon Bruce and his team in Aberdeenshire.
A statement from anCnoc noted that the whisky makers used the same traditional tools and techniques they do for their unpeated drams.
Their process harkens back to Knockdhu’s founders by using locally-sourced barley smoked with Aberdeenshire peat. This would have been the method that defined the character of these whiskies made when the distillery was founded, back in 1894.
According to the distiller, the two new expressions are sweeter and woodier than the more pungent peat used for whisky making in other parts of the Highlands and the Scottish Islands.
For the Sherry Cask Finish Peated Edition, the team looks for the new addition to be permanent in Knockdhu’s family of single malts. The distiller’s notes describe this non-aged expression as soft, sweet, and fruity with flavors of vanilla and warm spice of a sherry finish … with a lingering campfire smoke.
The whisky is made using a combination of Knockdhu’s peated and non-peated spirit. After a first maturation period in American oak casks, it’s finished in Sherry butts from Jerez, Spain.
This expression clocks in at 43% ABV, and has a suggested price of £40 for a 70cl bottle.
For anCnoc’s Peatheart Batch 3, the distiller looked to strike a balance on the amount of peated barley, maturing this whisky in American oak ex-bourbon casks to conjure up anCnoc’s honey and citrus notes with flavors of ashy barbecue smoke.
Batch 3’s flavor features a slightly more pronounced fragrant grassiness, with enhanced notes of green apple and citrus cutting through the oily smokiness.
This latest batch notes in the packaging that it features two ppm levels (phenol parts per million), for both the barley and the finished whisky. The peat smoke used in production gives barley a unique phenol level, and for Peatheart Batch 3, anCnoc’s master blender specifies a barley with 34ppm.
Phenols are lost during the whisky-making process, so it’s the ppm of the whisky that matters most. In the case of Peatheart Batch 3, the distiller notes that this is 13.3ppm … a bold yet mellow peated whisky.
Batch 3 clocks in at 46% ABV and has a suggested price of £55 for a 70cl bottle.
Distillery Manager Gordon Bruce said he believes it’s the combination of crafted small batch whisky, and the distinctive smokiness of Aberdeenshire peat, that drives demand for anCnoc’s peated range.
“I couldn’t count the number of people who tell me they love whisky but just can’t drink it when it’s peated; until, that is, they try anCnoc’s peated whiskies,” he said. “Both of these new expressions are a tempting proposition: modern, hand-crafted single malts, featuring our light, fruity spirit with a dark, smoky twist. And both are made with the integrity, craft ethos and local resources that our single malt is known for, offering drinkers something genuinely different in the world of peated whisky.”
For more information, check out www.ancnoc.com.
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