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REVIEW: "anCnoc-ing on my heart"

REVIEW: "anCnoc-ing on my heart"


If you follow me on The Gram, you have probably seen me rant and rave about the anCnoc Peatheart many times. It was one of my absolute favorite sips of last year, just sinking its peaty teeth into my mouth , unapologetically and with no plans of release. Its a stunner, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Once I fall in love with a particular whisky, I always worry about trying more of the portfolio, in fear of being disappointed. Especially when its a whisky I rant and rave on this much. Its like having a favorite band and having so much anticipation for the next record, only to be disappointed that its a clear sellout to a major label. But, I am happy to say that this did not happen with anCnoc. They did not abandon me for whats popular and mainstream to leave behind their true identity. There was no one night stand, giving me every ounce of charisma and nose tantalizing charm to pull me in , only to leave me feeling sad and helpless that it has all come to an end. Lucky for me, and my peat loving heart, they have provided my senses with more than I could have hoped for after that first sip of Peatheart, my gateway into the mouthwatering, palate pleasing world of anCnoc.

Sitting on the edge of the Highlands and Speyside sits Knockdhu Distillery, home of anCnoc. The land was purchased in 1892 by a man named John Morrison who saw the perfect opportunity to take the bounty of peat and barley and the water from Knock Hill, to make whisky! Since then not much has changed around the distillery as they still use their one set of copper pot stills, wooden washbacks, and worm tubs to condense the vaporized alcohol. Their dunnage warehouses amass whisky aging in American and Spanish oak barrels previously used to mature either bourbon or sherry, selected by Mr. Gordon Bruce, their distillery manager. I was lucky enough to have the 12 year and Cutter provided to me so I may continue to explore what they have to offer!


anCnoc 12 YEAR

A sweet little robust sipper! It has qualities that sing both Speyside and Highland, getting full bodied flavor with soft edges.

43% ABV

Cask Type: second fill American oak, ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

Nose: granny smith applesauce and a cup of honey lemon tea. Smells like summer!

Palate: sweet baked apple tart, with a wet straw aftertaste that balances out the sweetness in a lovely way.

Finish: short on the sides of the mouth, but lingers a bit on the tongue with a savory bite.

Overall: I like this, quite a bit. I’m glad they bottled it at 43% and not 40%. This presents on all accounts really well and is a great everyday type of sipper. It has solid depth of flavors that hold from start to finish.

SRP $ (Depending on your location): Here in SoCal this is about $45.



When I first tried Cutter it was from a freshly opened bottle. The notes on both the nose and the palate were super sharp and it tasted green and unbalanced. I gave it a week to open up and I’m so glad I did, as it blossomed beautifully!

46% abv / 20.5ppm

Natural colour / non-chill filtered.

Cask type: American oak, ex-bourbon hogsheads

Nose: at first whiff you get sweet BBQ (it makes me miss summer BBQ and ribs and trip-tip and really all things grilled!) If you keep swirling it about in your glass it opens up notes of ginger and lemon cakes with a a slight briney salt to it.

Palate: while the peat delivery on this is more abrupt, it mellows out quickly into a creamy vanilla with tart and tangy bursts of grapefruit. Its an ashy style of peat, and its bold. Imagine a peated vanilla greek yogurt. This is it.

Finish: finishes with those tarty and tangy notes, clinging to the sides of your tongue.

Overall: I really enjoy Cutter. Its more youthful on the palate, but is a well refined package!

SRP $ (depending on your location): around $80



Last year I drank A LOT of whisk(e)y. Inexpensive whiskies to very expensive, young to old, and from all parts of the globe. I often get asked the question of “Whats your favorite whisky?” and it is never a question I can really answer because I don’t like the pressure of having to “have” a favorite whisky. I taste everything I can get my hands on. I like some, dislike some, and then there are a few that just stick to my soul, for reasons unknown. This was one of those sticky bottles for me. This beauty of a whisky was one of my top two favorite whiskies of the year. I said it. FAVORITE. (You can read a little about the other here if you’re keen.) Why this whisky? I’m not really sure. I picked this up in Edinburgh last year at Royal Mile Whiskies after the lovely gentleman in the shop gave me a wee taste. I fell in love right there on High Street. Maybe it was timing, or its sultry black bottle. Maybe it was because I was on cloud 9 living my dream in Edinburgh. Or maybe its because the whisky is just really damn good.  The peat, even though at 40ppm, is so soft and not aggressive at all. Its almost like velvet.

46% abv / 40ppm

Natural colour / non-chill filtered.

Cask type:  American oak, ex-bourbon hogsheads

Nose: stewed pears and tangy citrus rinds. The peat is like a soft fluffy cloud to your nose, just filling each nostril in a storm of peated fruits.

Palate: think reading a leather bound book , while a warm breeze fills the room with floral explosions, all while eating lemon curd and creme. Its sophisticated yet enchanting, and has just the softest, most creamy peat I’ve tasted. Lovely viscosity too!

Finish:  warm, and polite. Lingers a bit and then sees itself out.

Overall: it is no secret that I adore this whisky. I wish it were available here in the states, as I would have a large stock of it. I love how warming and kind it is to my palate. The name suits it just perfectly.

SRP $ (Depending on location): I paid €51.95, which is about $74 USD.


I’m very pleased with what I have tasted from anCnoc so far. I have heard wonderful things about their 18 year, and some of the travel retail exclusives, so those are on my radar for the next venture. I am heading to Ireland next month, so I will be sure to keep me eyes opened for anything from this humble little “two stiller” distillery! Have you tried anCnoc yet? Whats been your favorite so far?

Knockdhu Distillery
AB54 7LJ

The fine print: All reviews and thoughts are honest, and photos are my own. I purchased Peatheart , and the 12 year and Cutter were provided to me by anCnoc, which I am VERY grateful for.