ANCNOC 12 Year Old
ANCNOC 12 Year Old is renowned. It’s a must-have in every whisky drinker’s collection since it’s light, smooth and complex, with a smoky taste. This versatile Highland whiskey is ideal for any occasion and represents a modern-style distillery that utilises traditional methods. Each twist and turn brings a new surprise. There is something for everyone in this dram. Amber with a slight yellow hue. Soft and aromatic, with hints of lemon and honey in the foreground.
To prevent confusion with the Knockdhu distillery, Knockdhu renamed their whisky anCnoc. This 12-year-old whisky has a smooth, non-sherried style.
ANCNOC 12 Year Old has won several awards, such as:
- SF World Spirits Competition 2021 – Gold
- International Wine & Spirits Challenge 2018 – Silver
- International Wine and Spirit Competition 2017 – Gold
- International Spirits Challenge 2017 – Gold
- Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2017 – 96 points, finalist, Great Value
- New York International Spirits Challenge 2017 – Gold
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017 – Double Gold
- IWSC 2016 – Gold
- International Spirits Challenge 2016 – Gold
- Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2016 – 87 points
- World Whiskies Awards 2016 – Gold (Category winner)
- San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2016 – Gold
- New York World Spirits Competition 2016 – Silver
- BTI 2016 – Gold
The white canister and label may be seen on the bottle. ANCNOC’s packaging is clean and modern, with only a few embellishments. The aesthetic isn’t as radically modern as Bruichladdich, but it’s a nice difference from the lavishly adorned offerings from Balvenie, for example.
ANCNOC 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured in hand-selected American oak barrels, ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks that are quietly left to rest in the distillery’s dunnage warehouse. The thick granite walls and unique location of the dunnage warehouse result in stable temperatures, allowing the whisky to develop consistently. The whisky is bottled after 12 years of maturing in a dunnage warehouse. It is usually bottled at 40% ABV (80 proof) without chill filtration.
The core of ANCNOC’s Single Malt range is the 12 year old, and it is one of Knockdhu’s Highland favourites. It is officially located in Aberdeenshire. However, it is in the top end. If the distillery were five miles to the west, it would qualify as a Speyside, so it is not unexpected that this Single Malt has many of the region’s light, fruit-forward characteristics. And, because the whisky is matured in refill ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry barrels, the wood effect is mild and refined, exposing a cleaner, more authentic spirit.
On the nose, the first whiff smells like strawberries and cream. Lemon meringue. Honeyed, without a doubt. Floral and light. Later, there is a scent of peaches, maybe peach schnapps. Finally, a drop of water wakes up the nose and brings out a lot of green apples.
It has a light and, unfortunately, watery taste in the mouth. Bananas coated in caramel sauce appear first, followed by dry haw or straw and, eventually, some bitter notes: not citrus, but woody: green sap or freshly-cut pine or birch logs. A splash of water might help to bring out the delicious honey flavour.
The finish opens with sweet and caramel-heavy, then fades into honey and those bitter green sap and oak aromas that linger until the medium-length finish — a bitter digestif with a hoppy aftertaste.
The ANCNOC 12 Year Old is an absolute gem that connoisseurs will admire for its rich complexity and superb flavour balance. There’s sweetness as well as subtle Christmas spice. This is unmistakably a sipping whisky, and a whisky connoisseur would never use it in a cocktail.
Overall, Ancnoc 12 Year Old is an intriguing whiskey that appears to have preserved a lot of youthful character and barley notes while still projecting a fair amount of oak influence, which adds to its character and smoothes off most rough edges. This whisky is recommended for anyone who likes firm barley and cereal notes with hints of delicate fruit, honey, mocha, and a touch of wood-inspired bitterness in the form of cocoa and spice on the finish.
This whisky is best paired with simple chocolate such as Marabou Premium cocoa salty liquorice, Marabou Premium orange and Anthon Berg Salmiak.
If you’re still basking in the remains of a beautiful summer evening and want to relax with a dram, the ANCNOC 12 Year Old is an excellent choice. Drink with your friends while watching a spectacular sunset.
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