If you look at a map of Scotland and try to find anCnoc distillery, then you’re going to struggle. The whisky in your bottle actually hails from Knockdhu distillery, which has been pumping out whisky since 1894. Since 1993 though, the single malt whisky from the distillery has been sold under the name anCnoc, to avoid confusion with Knockando.
The new-ish name reflects the whisky’s locality, with the Knock Hill known to locals as anCnoc, which comes from the Gaelic from black hill. Since the rebrand, the whisky has flourished, and it is now recognized as one of the most exciting malt whiskies around; the Highland version of Bruichladdich, if you will.
The anCnoc 2001 Vintage is the latest release from the distillery, joining its range of other vintage expressions. The limited edition bottling has been matured over 15 years in Spanish and American oak casks, before being bottled with neither chill-filtering or colouring. I also need to highlight the packaging, which reflects the minimalist design of the distillery’s core range, with a contemporary edge. But how does it taste.
The nose on this one is brimming with citrus, both lemon and lime, but it’s not a sharp citrus flavour. There’s also a creaminess which reminded me of strawberry yoghurt – and a bit of straw too. On the palate, it’s very sweet at the front, with that zesty lime also presenting itself; a bit like key lime pie. There’s a bit of vanilla there too, before it slowly drifts off.
There’s just 1000 bottles of this available worldwide, but with an RRP of just £55 a bottle, I’d encourage you to rush out a grab a small slice of anCnoc’s whisky history.