This entry level malt in the anCnoc range is a feisty l’il fella indeed. Surprising in its depth, and unbelievably unique for a malt whose flavor profile is really not more than a step or two off the beaten path, there’s something more here than initially meets the eye. Further impressive is the fact that this whisky is chock full of personality at a mere 12 years of age. I’ve read others refer to it as ‘complex’, and while I don’t necessarily agree with the term ‘complex’ as it applies here, I do see an incredible depth. This is a malt that soars in all aspects, and only falls right at the end.
Before we get to the Icarus act right at the back end, let’s sing the virtues of this Highlander…
This is a malt all about the olfacory experience. Surprisingly peppery on the nose. Fruity and kinda floral. Notes of citrus and blueberry are zingy and vibrant. Tobacco and milk chocolate bring a darker, earthier edge. I gotta confess…I adore the nose on this whisky. Truly love it.
The cereals on the palate are immense. Oak and lemon play a part. All flavors are initially pleasant and integrated…right up until the fade, that is. Here we get a denouement of oddest overt graininess, grassiness and notes of an almost fishy character. Not maritime/coastal fishy notes, but rather a surprising, and not particularly pleasant, fishiness.
I was really digging the Talisker meets Glenmorangie (sans the heavy orange notes) profile until it all kinda barley-ed out into fishmarket-ness. Good malt up to the finish.
Still possibly preferable to the anCnoc 16.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt
Nice tight review, and one that’s very useful to me, because I’ve been wondering about this stuff for some time. Too bad about the tale of the tape, because “Talisker meets Glenmorangie” sounds like the Rumble in the Jungle, or at least the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, of scotch.
While I have been disappointed in the past, I’ve never had the finish of a single malt fall apart as you describe (although it has happened with some blends). Could it be bad casking? If you get a chance to review some Isle of Arran products, I’d be interested to see how they compare.