anCnoc Sherry Cask Finish, Peated Edition 2023 43% ABV

This NAS whisky is made using a combination of Knockdhu’s peated and non-peated spirit. After a first maturation period in American oak casks, it’s finished in Sherry butts from Jerez, Spain.


Appearance: Dark honey amber. A medium thick swirl line forms immediately. Many medium trails seep down the glass towards the surface. A pleasingly thick and viscous film hugs the inside of the glass for a good amount of time.

Nose: A sweet smoke is instantly noticeable, with both BBQ and coastal elements. Sweet BBQ ribs, stewed blueberries, honey-coated crispy chicken and a salinity all play their part as aromas too. A touch of petrichor and damp tree bark emerge late on, after the dram has had a chance to mature.A nice balance is struck between the smokey meaty notes and the sweeter elements.

Palate: Not a particularly oily mouthfeel. The snow note has become more ashy on the palate, like the end of a smouldering piece of wood. Subtle spices such as cinnamon, black pepper and lemon pepper emerged first, along with a mild chilli tingle in the tongue. There’s a slightly astringent edge to the first sip too. The second sip reveals slightly more of the sweetness and the pepper element grows, becoming more defined as red peppercorns. Those BBQ and salt notes continue from the nose to the palate but are less well-balanced and taste a bit confused. There’s a faint mellow butter cream fighting for attention, but it’s way in the background. After a time the blueberry/strawberry and possibly cherry notes come through.

Finish: The ashy smoke, salinity and those fruit notes linger for a medium amount of time. The mellow butter element also remains.

Overall: I’m a big fan of the anCnoc range and it pains me to say that I’m not fond of this bottle. It doesn’t seem to balance well for me and is in ‘no man’s land’ when it comes to the flavour profile. It’s not ‘bad’, just not particularly to my tastes at all.

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