In May of last year I had the honour of being inducted into the Keepers of the Quaich, a by invitation only society founded to recognize those who make significant contributions to the global success of Scotch whisky.Â Standing in a room full of the biggest names in the industry, there I was a humble self-professed whisky expert from a single small retail store in Calgary, the first Canadian retail expert to be so honoured. The generous dram of An Cnoc 16 Year I was handedÂ couldn’tÂ have come at a better time. After a few pulls I relaxed and it dawned on me that this An Cnoc was a lovely little dram and I made a mental note to inquire about it on my return. We launched it as an exclusive this fall, and it was a huge hit, selling out quickly. We’ve managed to get just 24 more bottles!
An Cnoc for those of you who don’t know is a pseudonym for Knockdhu distillery. When the brand was first launched as a single malt, it was felt that the name Knockdhu might be confused with another not too distant distillery Knockandoo. Even though Knockdhu predates Knockandoo by the better part of five years, the latter had gone to market first with its single malt (both being primarily made for blending until a relatively short time ago) and it was felt that single malt from Knockdhu should have a distinct moniker.
An Cnoc 16 Year -Â 46% – American Oak -Â My Tasting Note: Nose: floral, bourbony and citric; dandelions, geraniums and rose petals; barley sugars, firm toasted oak and roasted coconut chips; citrus notes include shades of lemon and lime zest;Â Palate: is massively bourbony with vanilla icing, shredded coconut and more firm toasted oak; the citrus notes are much more prominent on the palate with lemon drops, candied orange and lemon/lime zest; there is a soft creamy component to it too but the whisky retains a soft character and is far from over the top;Â Finish: drying and toasty with burnt orange, a late wave of lemon drops and more vanilla icing;Â Comments: this whisky will be forever linked to Keepers of the Quaich inauguration in May of this year. It was our welcome dram, it was three fingers deep and it cut my nerves just before the ceremony. This is the first An Cnoc which has really impressed me, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!Â -Â Exclusive to KWM – $87.99