anCnoc Swedish Exclusive Tweet Tasting

Swedish Exclusive 10th September 2014

Time for another Tweet Tasting, this time with the good people at anCnoc and Alembic Comms.  Stewart and I were delighted to be invited to the official Swedish exclusive launch – where Blender Mark Williamson, will guide us though three of the anCnoc expressions accompanied by a food pairing, all in the name of the Perfect Match.

12YO is the standard, unpeated expression of our single malt. Bottled at 40%.  Both of the peated expressions are bottled at 46% ABV.  Flaughter is bottled at 46%ABV, non chill-filtered, natural colour, 14.5ppm phenol matured in a selection of American oak casks and the whiskies used are under 10YO with the Tushkar being a Swedish only release.  It’s only slightly peatier than Flaughter at 15ppm phenol This is also 46%, non chill-filtered and natural colour.  Tushkar was matured wholly in 1st fill ex-bourbon casks so we can expect plenty of vanilla.

We tweeted using #LightOnDark and we were really looking forward to what we would find.

Kirsty’s Notes:

anCnoc 12YO Paired with dried apricots

Nose :

Sweet and creamy, thick and chewy, like school dinner custard but heavy on the synthetic vanilla.  Bursting with sweet apples, there’s melon juice, ripe mango, and hints of nectarine and mandarins with soft summer hay and the warm sun.  Soft crumbly madeira sponge and the summer meadow, heavy with the smell of blossom in the air.  Gentle rose & peonies, & cereal drenched with golden honey.  Given some time to open up in the glass milk chocolate with just a hint of raspberry and oats, almost like a cranachan dryness tempered by the sweetness of fresh cream.

Taste :

Very light and refreshing with hints of coconuts, and a touch of spice.  There’s a little bit of ginger & some white pepper and some creaminess from the nose comes through, but it’s so fresh it’s almost effervescent, the mango & raspberries make themselves known, the gentle orange is the star of the show and the soft sugary lemons and honeyblossom make this dram so gentle.

Paired with Apricot

Nose :

Paired with the apricots, the whisky becomes dryer, with more fruits and a burnt toffee note, this really helps the coconut from earlier shine through.

Taste:

With the Apricot this becomes denser, oranges, mandarins, & peach melba come into their own. Less Sweet but interesting.

anCnoc Flaughter paired with caramel biscuits

Nose :

Rich Sweet Smoke, ashy gritty peat at the fore, dark chocolate chips, rich cocoa powder from good quality truffles and a lovely touch of fresh mint, crushed between your hands. That honey sweetness & creamy vanilla, pear tatin with some sharp green grapes, before the crunchy, sugary, well torched top of crème brulee comes through and there’s a sweet hint of tuna steak.

Taste :

Wonderful peated notes come through with heat and dying embers of a beach fire.  Sweet pears and wild strawberry.  Honey and smoke so intertwined, lovely soft fruits flavours, apple crumble with cloves, ground spice and nutmeg.

Paired with caramel biscuits

With Biscuit, intensifying spices, think Grandmother’s gingerbread house, burnt marshmallows, with buttered toast the peat becomes sweeter but covers every inch of your mouth, caressing the tongue, leaving gritty ash in its wake.

anCnoc Tushkar paired with vanilla fudge

Nose :

A gentle, fruitier Peat, less smoke & more, Char grilled Corn on the cob, intensely sweet & buttery but still smoke There is an undercurrent of steak gravy, fresh pastry and gentle honey drizzled parsnips, a slight nod of brine Sweet vanilla notes come storming thru & leave the peat in its wake, there’s going to be a war! Sticky orange marmalade tangy and sweet.

Taste :

Fantastic charcoal peat all over this and a gentle chilli tingle.  There are drying tannic notes and a strong woody taste of the oak is here, it’s vegetal at points, damp leaves and darker oranges.  Smoke is there and along with the chilli there are limes, cardamom, turmeric and hints of coriander and bay leaves.  Giving this dram a very savoury edge.

Paired with Fudge

Here’s that war, vanilla comes in strong and hard.  It’s all things dessert there’s pancake mix, soft cream, caramac, cream anglais, vanilla sugar.  The peat won’t take it lying down though!  It’s heavy and hot, swirling like a tornado around your mouth, soot, ashy, gritty and dirty, embracing the heat and then taking it down!  Is there a winner..? Most definitely, you!

Overall thoughts

What a fantastic trio of both drams and pairings, each one was perfectly matched.  Personally with the 12yo I would like to see it come up in ABV, I think even 3% would make a massive difference and really let it shine.  It’s a lovely light dram though and fantastic for someone who is just starting their whisky journey or on a hot day, and dare I say it, I would imagine there is a pretty fantastic cocktail that could be built around it.

The Flaughter is absolutely stunning.  The peat is just wonderful and there is just so much going on.  The lovely ashy tones work so well with the delicate fruits and hint of wild strawberries.  The dessert like qualities are fantastic and buttery smooth.

Then the Tuskhar, I wish I could get my hands on a bottle of this.  I love the savoury meaty notes this dram brings, I love that the peat is there but it’s almost timid, but then you realise it has just been evolving with every sip, and in the finish it’s the peat that is the last to leave.  anCnoc are really coming into their own, they just can’t put a foot wrong with these peated releases and they seem to have really hit their stride, and its an absolute joy to be on it from the start.  Hurry up and play catch up, you’ll be very glad you did.

Kirsty (@kirstyclarke29)

Stewart’s Notes:

anCnoc 12YO Paired with dried apricots

Nose :

Sweetness abound, with an almost drying undertone. Hints of orange coming through, with wood shavings.  Boiled milk and more dried fruit and lovely citrus fruits.  This nose finishes with a dryness of crushed autumnal leaves.

Taste :

The dryness from the nose comes through along with the citrus.  Honey covered wood shavings at the forefront of the palate.

Palate with apricot:

The marriage is one of sweetness and honey. The citrus mixes well with apricot and the apricot really helps the dram open up as it becomes much more fruity and creamy.

anCnoc Flaughter paired with caramel biscuits

Nose :

A great hit of peat is the first thing that hits, followed by lovely milk chocolate covered dark berries.  The berries disappear and are replaced by a fresh orchard note.  Gorgeous nose, can’t wait to try!

Taste :

Like the nose, the peat hits first, it slowly melts away to a smoky apple pie.  There’s a small touch of spice that follows.  More fruit shines through before the peat makes a welcome return just as the dram finishes.

Palate with biscuit:

The sweetness of the biscuit is a perfect foil for the peat, almost gooey like, never wanting to leave.

anCnoc Tushkar paired with vanilla fudge

Nose :

No massive peat hit here, you know it’s peated but more refined than the Flaughter It’s beautifully oranges and lemons and wonderfully tropical like a bonfire on a desert island.  After the lemons, comes the coconut, lashings of it, sweet and milky. The peat comes through hard now and makes you ache to take a sip, gorgeous nose.

Taste :

Lemon drizzle cake that’s been slightly bbq’d. The lovely ashy texture is there and combines greatly with coconut. The finish is amazing, slowly running down your throat, almost velvet like, with peat and spice fighting hard.

Tushkar paired with fudge

More sweetness than you can almost handle! The vanilla from the fudge takes control but then the peat hits! Creamy and peaty, each fighting one another until they embrace. Fantastic pairing!

Overall thoughts

This was a fun tasting to take part in, starting with the familiar 12 Year Old which set us up nicely for a short journey through some nice whiskies.  Each of the food pairings were excellently matched to the whisky and really complemented them well.  It was great to try the Flaughter and Tushkar for the first time and the instantly hit it off with me.  Both peated whiskies but both quite different.  Overall I would have to say that I really enjoyed the Flaughter on its own and loved it with the biscuits.  The Tushkar was an excellent dram and the vanilla fudge opened up new nuances of the whisky.  A fantastic tasting much thanks to anCnoc for allowing us to take part.

Stewart (@stewartcraigon)

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