anCnoc and Balblair Tasting

ab

A while ago some of the more well known and influential guys on the alcohol scene here started a Facebook group for enthusiasts here in Israel. Aside from providing a platform for discussion and sharing cool pictures they’ve also been hard at work organizing events and deals for members and so forth. One result of this was a tasting evening in partnership with online retailer Sipil to show the range of Ancnoc and Balblair that they’re starting to bring into the country (more whisky, yay!)

Both are well known highland distilleries with quite serious fan clubs. anCnoc is produced by the Knockdhu disitllery but they use the name of the nearby town as a brand name so as not to cause confusion with the Knockandhu distillery (no relation). Balblair is mostly known for using a vintage system instead of age statements, whichj I personally find annoying as hell because they don’t always list the bottling date so I don’t always know what I’m buying.

The whiskies we tried this evening were:

  • anCnoc 12
  • Balblair 2005 (10 yo)
  • anCnoc 18
  • anCnoc 24

Let’s get to it then


anCnoc 12

Aged 12 years. 40% ABV.

Nose: Green banana. Malt. Honey. Wild flowers. Beeswax. Nutmeg.

Palate: A little ethanol heavy here. Bit of naphthalene. Wet grass. Green herbs. Bitter honey.

Finish: Short. Sharp. Ethanol. Woodspice. Honey.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: No

VFM: 2/5

I’d heard that anCnoc needs some age on it and this kind of proves this. The young character here didn’t really go down too well with me and above that there was this very dominant and unbalanced taste of ethanol all the way through. The chill filtration and 40% abv didn’t help either.


 

Balblair 2005

Aged 10 years (bottled 2016). 46% ABV. Matured in bourbon barrels. No colopurant added and non-chill filtered.

Nose: Honey. Red fruits. Toffee. Red licorice. Calvados. Sour beer. Butterscotch.

Palate: Wet leaves. Musty. Slight sherry. Salty toffee.

Finish: Bitter. Salt. Red apples. Cider. Yeasty.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

This was an interesting one. The higher ABV definitely helped flavour delivery, but most interestingly was this musty note I picked up which I usually find in young Glenfarclases and was very surprised when I found out that this bottle has no sherry maturation as it is quite meaty. Really good stuff for the age and price.


anCnoc 18

Aged 18 years. 46% ABV. Matured in bourbon and sherry casks. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.

Nose: Strawberry shortcake. Brown glue. Cinnamon. Cashew. Maple. New leather.

Palate: Woodspice. Candied orange peel. Salty toffee. Plums. Tobacco. Milk chocolate.

Finish: Long. Spicy. Honey. Candied ginger. Leather.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 4/5

Lovely whisky. This is really a Goldilocks whisky, well balanced and flavorful. The whisky is also easy to drink but with no sacrifice in complexity, and at a low price to boot.


anCnoc 24

Aged 24 years. 46% ABV. Matured in bourbon and sherry casks. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.

Nose: Brown glue. Sticky sherry. Raisins. Prunes. Date honey. Toasted oak. Nutty. Cherry cigars.

Palate: Tobacco. Leather. Candy apple. Bitter wood. Capsicum. Dates. Currants.

Finish: Long. Ginger. Woodspice. Sultanas. Green herbs. Rich chocolate praline.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 4/5

Not a sherry bomb, but very close. Really rich whisky that shows off what one would expect with such an age. It’s also one of the cheapest whiskies of its age on the market. For me this is better than the 18 year old offering, but not with price factored in.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s