This single malt was carefully selected and matured for 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels. Canmore is Gaelic for Great Chief – a nickname fondly given to King Malcolm by his people, over whom he reigned between 1051 and 1093.
Appearance: Lager amber, a thin swirl line with many medium to thick trails layered into a nice viscous film. A few teardrops and small droplets litter the upper glass after a while.
Nose: Quite a light nose where alcohol is concerned (unsurprising for 40%). Initial aromas include honey, red apple, pear, a touch of strawberry jam and vanilla. There’s a pleasing balance where the nose is concerned.
Gentle baking spices and a pine needle freshness emerge. Maybe a very subtle hint of citrus.
Palate: A fairly thin mouthfeel. Spice-forward initially with hot aniseed, cinnamon and blood orange bitterness.
A touch of tannin drying along with some honey and a more vegetal element, almost like the pepper note from rocket salad leaves.
The second sip reveals more of the honey but remains fairly spicy.
It didn’t have quite as much of the ‘diluted’ feel that most 40% whiskies are guilty of, it’s not full-on by any means, but does have a decent palate.
There are digestive biscuits now, mellowing and balancing the spice slightly and the drying remains throughout the palate and into the finish.
Finish: The spice and drying last for a medium amount of time, as does that biscuit and honey sweetness. Some earthy leaf litter notes also linger.
Overall: If you’ve read any of my previous notes on 40% whisky, you’ll know I’m not a fan. I find most of them weak and pointless (anCnoc 12 being an exception). I’m happy to say that this one is also going against that trend for me. It’s still quite obviously low ABV, but does hold its own and it’s a nice sipper for sure.