Whisky Review: anCnoc Peatheart
Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
Origin: Knockdhu distillery
Bottling: Inver House (Official)
Cost: £52.00 buy from Master of Malt
What they say:
Throughout the Scottish uplands, most extensively in the north and west, you will find the heart of the peatlands. Remote and isolated yet rich in iconic wildlife, this environment rules the landscape and provides a valuable fuel for the whisky-making process.
Knockdhu Distillery, established in 1894, is one of the most enchanting in the Scottish Highlands. Bounded by an abundance of natural resources wonderfully suited to whisky making, the distillery lies in the shadow of nearby Knock Hill – home to springs of pure, clear water – and sits on the doorstep of a region rich in barley and peat.
A natural resource, peat was historically embraced as fuel to fire the still and dry the barley for the distillation of whisky. It is traditionally cut by hand using several traditional cutting tools.
Peatiness can be controlled by the amount of peat burnt and the humidity of the barley. Peat smoke produces chemicals called phenols and it is by its phenol content that a whisky’s ‘peatiness’ can be measured. This phenol content is expressed as PPM (parts per million) and to ensure consistency, Peatheart uses barley, specified by our Master Blender, malted to 40PPM.
An initial smoky burst surrenders to a surge of fruitiness. Ripe pears and the citrus notes of apples and limes with just a touch of tobacco in the background. The nose is balanced yet an undeniable smoky sweetness prevails.
Smoke laced with leather and sweet stewed apples. Chocolate is there too, perfectly complemented by sweet vanilla and zesty lemon. The finish has a lingering warmth with a floral smokiness.
What I say:
Sampled during the anCnoc #LightonDark tweet tasting on 23rd November 2017. Made from Barley custom peated to reach a minimum 40ppm phenol and then distilled at Knockdhu and aged in refill bourbon barrels for around 10 years for this Batch #1 edition of Peatheart, the first permanent peated anCnoc expression in their range.
Pale gold (5/20), oily but quite fine droplets and fine legs
Earthy and herbal with a good hint of smoke, like oak & juniper smoked, malty, biscuit, shortbread, savoury oatcakes with butter, vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey
Zesty and malty, lemon pith with sugar and white pepper, moves into oak and peat smoked oatcakes, chilli & golden syrup flapjacks, chocolate and tobacco leaf, heather & gorse (coconut) brush fire
Long, smoke subsides, more oak wood, sugary fudge, honey and toffee
Really easy drinking peated expression as it has that light, honeyed and slightly fruity anCnoc character bolstered by a good earthy peat which becomes floral and mealy in equal quantities.
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