Knockdhu Distillery Tasting Notes

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Knockdhu, Scotch Whisky A-G

AnCnoc Blas 54%

A limited edition distilled at Knockdhu and created in collaboration with fashion designer Patrick Grant, judge on The Great British Sewing Bee.

8 year old spirit mature in 50% 2nd Fill Bourbon and 50% 1st Fill Oloroso

Tasted: Mar 2016

The nose is quite spicy with an obvious sherry influence. The classic crisp barley and granity notes balance. A touch of vanilla appears along with some perfumed white fruit as the sherry notes move into the background.

The palate opens with the light vanilla and gentle sherry spices. It fills out as the juicy dried fruits arrive along with a touch of treacle and dark chocolate. Long and intensely spiced with lingering herbal, dark chocolate.

An Cnoc Blas 54%

Re-Tasted: Apr 2016

Nose Interesting! Turmeric coated banana with hints of sweet toffee, greengage, gala melon, gooseberry, sage, green tea leaves, under ripe rhubarb and herbal rye-like notes.

Palate: Unbalanced and surprisingly alcoholic with gooseberry, greengage, lime and kiwi. Very bitter, almost green tannins, herbal rye and burnt toast notes follow.

Finish: Neat it’s mouth-watering, sharp and citric with hints of menthol. Dilution unfortunately makes it sugary and watery.

Conclusion: I had a feeling that this would do water particularly well and I was correct in that assumption.

An Cnoc 12 year old 40%

Tasted: Aug 2006

Massively malty, slightly grainy with loads of rich, creamy orange fruit, a slight perfumed note. Superb complexity with a touch of smoke, earthy manure and pepper.

On the palate it as multi-layered, opening with the delicious malt and followed by softly, juicy, slightly sweet fruit – reminds me of a good Irish. Good wood and good spirit combine nicely, tails of rather quickly but leaves a lovely soft spicy after taste.

An Cnoc 12 year old 40%

Re-Tasted: Jan 2013

A lovely, firm and granity nose with hints of fern and pine needles. Gently honeyed with a hint of white liquorice. There’s a lovely depth of lightly fleshy apricot and lime fruit plus a developing floral top note.

The palate has a lovely purity, opening with the firm honey and granite. Very gentle with a touch of caramel oak. The middle displays plenty of crunchy, lightly granulated sugar coated barley leading into a lightly herbal finish with the granity notes holding.

An Cnoc 12 year old 40%

Re-Tasted June 2013

The aromas are very crisp and very herbal with some gloriously dense honey and oodles of creamy lime and orange notes. Excellent complexity with the oak adding some gentle vanillins along with hints of melon, apricot and white liquorice.

The palate is fresh and granity (as expected!) Very minerally and citrusy, but balanced by a lovely honeyed apricot and light apple fruit. Very long with hints of pepper and white liquorice before finishing with a herbal flourish and lingering granity notes.

An Cnoc 12 year old 46%

Re-Tasted: Mar 2017

As expected the nose displays plenty of granity barley and what seems like some subtle sherry spice and dried fruit. I don’t remember the 12 year old having a sherry component!?  Hints of white fruit and creamy American oak follow with a touch of malt and coffee.

The palate is crisp and mineral but very deep with honey, barley, white fruit, banana, apricot and a touch of straw. Like the nose there’s a subtle, but noticeable sherry spice note on the middle. Long and ultra juicy with lingering dried fruit, minerals, barley and American oak.

AnCnoc 2001 (14 year old) 46%

Aged 12 years in 2nd fill American oak barrels and hogsheads, finished 2 years in 1st fill European oak Oloroso butts

Dist: 2001 Btl: 2016

The nose begins a little austere with fresh, granity apricot along with hints of honey, toasted toffee and sherry spices. Lovely balance with hints of lime, lemon, greengage and subtle herbal Oloroso notes. The toffee’d note becomes quite creamy and with time a touch of digestive biscuit appears.

The palate is soft and barley led with hints of sweet-ish honey. The granite notes and alcohol keep the sweetness in check and beneath lies some subtle sherried dried fruit, roasted coffee and creamy vanilla. Long with lingering dried fruit, coffee’d spice and minerals. A real mouth tingling finish.

AnCnoc 2001 (14 year old) 46%

Re-Tasted: June 2016

Nose: Edgy and slightly industrial with hard barley and hints of wine gums, burnt caramel, honey and coffee.

Palate: Industrial, hard barley with hints of honey and homogenous sweet fruit, although there isn’t enough sweetness to offset the industrial character. Lightly coffee’d and oily middle.

Finish: Medium length with lingering industrial notes and a touch of spice.

Conclusion: As readers will know, this is not a style of whisky that I warm to, and I’m afraid that this isn’t going to change my mind.

An Cnoc 16 year old 46%

Tasted: Dec 2009

Lovely aromas of herbal-honey, crisp barley and yet more honey. Just like the 12 year old it displays that lovely granity edge. Some deft spices pass on by as does a developing creamy vanilla oak note and some late orange blossom.

The palate is gently oiled, with a beautiful interplay between the Bourbon oak, barley, honey and soft spices. A touch of light liquorice and toffee appears on the middle as does some delightfully, slightly floral, pure, juicy orange, liberally sprinkled with sugar, before the oak bitters and dries out the finish. And the fun ends there. Oh well, if only!

An Cnoc 18 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Sherry

Tasted: Jan 2015

Beautiful aromas of barley and luscious honeyed fruit – apricot, apple and banana, tangerine along with succulent sherry notes which add a touch of dried fruit. Quite fresh and granity as the Highland character some through in waves. Less heavily oaked than the old 16 year old that it replaces.

The palate is soft, lightly honeyed and toffee’d with a touch of sawdusty American oak. A touch of fruitcake and coffee follow, but just like the nose a lovely freshening citrus and minerality comes through to balance the oak. Very long and very spicy with a lovely, dusty spice finish and a lightly oxidised apricot and grape after-taste.

An Cnoc 18 year old 46%

Re-Tasted: Jan 2015

Nose: A big, rich, moderately mature, bourbony oak nose with hints of cereal, dusty spice, orange and dunnage. With time a touch of juniper, honey and coffee emerges and the oak becomes luscious and creamy.

Palate: Crisper and sharper than the nose with barley, citrus and a light herbal note. A lot less oak! But it’s still there adding structure. Quite coffee’d and gritty on the middle as the tannins emerge.

Finish:  Long and herbal with a dry finish as the citrus scythes its way through the oak. Lovely peppery spice and coffee’d after-taste.

Conclusion: A whisky of two halves saint! Big and oaky on the nose but crisp and fresh on the palate.

An Cnoc 18 year old 46%

Re-Tasted: Dec 2015

Mature aromas of luscious barley, apricot, apple, banana and slightly dusty American oak. A touch of subtle sherried dried fruit appears and sits beneath adding lightly burnt raisin, prune and walnut. With time some subtle granity notes emerge along with a hint of aniseed.

The palate is wonderfully soft and lightly honeyed with the mature American oak showing first, followed by hints of dried orange, raisin and sultana. |Refreshing citrus and mineral notes on the middle. Long, succulent and slightly spicy finish with the sherry notes lingering. Lovely tongue tingling spicy after-taste.

An Cnoc 18 year old 46%

Re-Tasted: Mar 2017

Initially quite heavy on the treacly sherry, malt and raisinated dried fruit. It takes some time and coaxing for the dusty American oak to appear and I don’t remember the sherry being so dominating from previous tastings. Finally hints of lime and greengage clear the sherry to allow the vanilla oak to come through.

The palate opens with the dusty American oak with hints of treacle, mature, baked fruit and citrus. Lovely, vibrant and mineral middle with a touch of sherry spice. Superb depth with the citrus and mineral notes following through on to the finish as the sweet dried fruit and malt lingers.

An Cnoc 22 year old 46%

Bourbon – Sherry/ Tasted: Feb 2013

A beautifully fragrant nose of crisp herbal honeyed barley with an underlying, intense minerality and sherry spice. Inviting aromas of fresh, but light tangerine mingle with delicately sugar sprinkled vanilla oak, which in time becomes increasingly sawdusty. That gorgeous honey thickens and becomes more mature as well. Finally a light blossom note appears along with a touch of straw and tobacco.

A sublimely deep palate of gentle citrus infused honey and sherry spice along with some herbal nuances. Majestic and luscious with judiciously sweetened barley and a building citrus minerality. Soft, mature oak arrives on the finish but that fresh minerality holds. Superbly balanced and amazingly fresh for its age. Finishes with a light nutmeg spice note.

An Cnoc 24 year old 46%

Tasted: Jan 2017

Nose: Gritty, herbal, spicy, balsamic sherry. Primal and intense but overly woody. Late hints of dried fruit and milk chocolate.

Palate: Treacly and coffee’d with developing, edgy, herbal notes. There’s a slight unclean note in the background and the bitter, but chocolaty tannins build.

Finish: Intense, dry, dusty and tannic with hints of orange conserve and dark chocolate.

Conclusion: A few off notes let the palate own.

An Cnoc 24 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Sherry

Re-Tasted: Mar 2017

Spicy, dusty and very mature with the sherry showing Armagnac-esque dried fruit. Well balanced by some barley and floral/ estry fruit – apricot, banana, orange, sultana. Late hints of malt, leather and sweet tobacco smoke.

The palate is creamy and soft, but very granity. Hints of treacle, malt and rich sherried fruit follow. Lovely, vibrant, citric middle with a touch of dusty American oak, malt, leather and tobacco. Wonderfully mature and spicy finish with lingering granite, citrus, dark chocolate and coffee’d oak notes.

An Cnoc 1975 (38 year old) 44.2%

Tasted: Mar 2015

Nose: Plenty of sweet and herbal sherry with a touch of luscious, lightly baked plum, prune, malt and walnuts. A touch of buttery vanilla lies beneath and the aromas become a little manurey and quite nutty with time.

Palate: Soft and silky, if a little bland with sweet dried fruit, liquorice and treacle. Robust and clunky with building coffee’d tannins.

Finish: Good spicy, mouth-watering finish with lingering herbal notes along with a touch of smoke and minerals.

Conclusion: It really comes alive on the finish as those spices kick in.

 


An Cnoc Peter Arkle ‘2nd Release’ 46%

Tasted: Nov 2012

A limited edition bottling from, produced in collaboration with Scottish artist and designer Peter Arkle. This second edition has been matured in a combination of ex Bourbon and ex Fino sherry casks for between 6 and 12 years, all selected by distillery manager Gordon Bruce.

The nose begins a little high toned but it soon settles down into a more herbal-floral character. Superbly deep and fuller than say the 12 year old. Hints of baked apple mingle with the granity, juicy honey and barley, topped off with a smidge of dusty spices and granulated sugar. The American oak comes through with some butterscotch notes and with time it becomes exuberantly fruity with apricot and banana.

Wonderfully soft and lightly oiled on the palate. Quite herbal to begin with, but its not long before the granite infused honey appears, along with the toffee’d/ butterscotch oak.  Some busy spice and citrus notes liven the mid palate balancing out the oak.  Just like the nose the fleshy apricot and banana appears on the finish as the butterscotch notes return, finishing with a deft herbal-spiciness. Superb!

An Cnoc Peter Arkle Travel Retail Batch 1 – 1Litre 46%

Tasted: May 2013

A sweet and slightly sickly nose with hints of barley and honey, but it thin, lightly cardboardy with a touch of chlorinated fly spray.

The palate is sweet and vapid with hints of cardboard, fust and fly spray. Not exactly pleasant and I’m amazed that Knockdhu would unload this rubbish on the travel retail market.

 


An Cnoc Rutter 46%

Peated to 11ppm/ Tasted: July 2014

A lovely, soft, fleshy and rounded nose of dense pear, apricot, pineapple, dusty sweet barley and vanilla. The peat smoke is quite gentle with a slight medicinal note and developing dark earth and liquorice.

The palate is soft and full. Again quite fleshy with plenty of fruity esters – apricot and pineapple along with a touch of toffee, vanilla and a little honey. The gentle peat smoke and spice comes through on the middle with hints of earth and leather. Very long with the peat becoming dustier and finishing with a fresh green apple note.

An Cnoc Flaughter 46%

Peated to 14.8 ppm/ Tasted: July 2014

More prominent ashy peat aromas entwined with coal dust. The apricot, barley and lightly toffee’d oak sit beneath the manureier and darker peat presence. A little sharper and fresher than the Rutter with citrus and green apple giving it an old skool Caol Ila-like character.

Again the palate is sharper and crisper than the Rutter with crunchy apple, hard barley, minerals and lightly medicinal, tarry peat. A little sweet earth, tobacco and toffee appears on the middle. Lovely intensity and mouth-watering, fresh and medicinal finish with the citrus and peat in full flow! The after taste is pleasantly dry and dusty but a smidgen of brown sugar adds a little sweetness.

An Cnoc Cutter 46%

Tasted: Oct 2014

Nose: Fresh and honeyed with a light mentholated herbal note. Pleasantly fruity with hints of apricot and pineapple along with a light coastal note and just a sliver of peat smoke.

Palate: Heavier on the honey with a touch of coffee, gritty tannins and burnt wood embers. The dense fruit sits beneath giving the palate a good depth. The saltiness builds well on the middle and a distant peat note can be detected.

Finish: Long and lightly oiled with a touch of violet and lingering wood spices. Quite a dry, salty after-taste.

Conclusion: Very harmonious. The dense, fruitiness of the spirit gives it weight and makes sure that it’s not one dimensional.

An Cnoc Cutter 46%

Peated to 20.5ppm

Re-Tasted: Oct 2014

The nose is intensely fruity and estery with banana, pineapple, apricot, peach and pear with a delightful castor sugar coating. The light, earthy peat notes float above this dense fruit base and with time a touch of vanilla oak appears too. A seriously good nose!

The palate is full and rich, opening with lightly oiled barley and sub-tropical banana, pineapple, apricot and pear. The dry peat comes through bringing a touch of coffee and treacle. Very malty on the middle with a long, herbal white fruit finish and lingering dry peat. A lovely peated Highland malt.

An Cnoc Cutter 46%

Re-Tasted: Dec 2014

Nose: gristy and dusty with plenty of astringent peat. Hints of herbs, menthol and light tar appear. Pleasantly citric and barley’d beneath but the peat is the focal point.

Palate: Full and broad opening with soft barley and lightly milky oak. The peat has a lovely sweet edge and hints of smoke, tar and herbs follow.

Finish: Lovely, sooty and medicinal finish with a hint of citrus.

Conclusion: The spirit has plenty of depth and richness to stand up to the peat.

An Cnoc Cutter 46%

Re-Tasted: Feb 2015

Score: A lovely soft and citric, lightly estery nose of pineapple chunks, apricot, vanilla and light spices. Very fresh and appealing with a gentle peat note.

Palate: Quite barley sweet to begin with a touch of soft white fruit. A touch of peat comes through on the middle with a touch of wood tannin. Lovely intensity.

Finish: Long with the peat really lingering and now showing a lovely dusty and earthy character.

An Cnoc Cutter 46%

Re-Tasted: Sept 2017

A crisp, fruit nose of apricot, white fruit and minerals. Faintly briny with herbal peat and a lovely citric freshness.

The palate opens with the barley and a touch of straw, followed by minerally white fruit and apricot. Faintly herbal peat wafts through along with a touch of menthol and brine. Like the nose it has a lovely balance with the oily fruit coming back on the finish and the peat, although subtle lingering.

An Cnoc Rascan 40%

Peated to 11.1%

Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Dec 2015

An intensely crisp and almost briny nose with green apple and a touch of honey. Not as full and fruity as previous peated releases. It feels more like the 12 year old with a little peat, but could almost pass for old skool Caol Ila. The peat is gentle and almost medicinal in character but it’s balanced by some lovely Sauvignon Blanc-esque grassiness, barley and minerals.

The palate is crisp and fresh but a little more sweet oak and honey gives it a fuller feel. Quite minerally with barley, apricot, subtle, smoky peat and heather. Like the nose it feels like the 12 year old with a touch of peat. Long and mouth-watering with hints of unsweetened pineapple and banana. The minerality really kicks in on the finish but the honey balances and the peat lingers.

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