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An Cnoc has its fair share of lovers and haters. I’m neither, but I can say that the 12 yr old in particular is very, very interesting. When I say that a malt is interesting, that’s usually a compliment. But I’m not entirely sure if that’s the case here. Rarely does reviewing a whisky have me so confused. I really don’t know what to make of this stuff. At all. Here are my notes:
Nose: Medium honey, barley, vanilla, grass, apples, apple cider, pastry crust, gummie peach candy, and some distant smoke. Occasionally I’ll even get a whiff of curry or mustard thrown in. Bright, pleasant, and interesting.
Palate: Very watery mouthfeel. I get some banana cream, honey, pecan, grass, Frosted Flakes, milk, and apple vinegar. These build up to a crescendo of Indian spices. Think cumin, curry, and mustard.
Finish: Curdled milk, hay, smoke, wasabi root, mustard, woodspice, oak, cornmeal, Frosted Flakes, buttered crumpets, and sponge cake.
This was a tough review. I’m almost through my bottle and I’m still not sure I “get it.” At the right time this can be a brilliant whisky which delights you with obscure flavours and fiery crescendos. At the wrong time it can be a thin, diluted, unstable disappointment. Without water the flavours are less crisp or forward. However, when added, water does no favours to the already thin mouthfeel. Yup… this whisky is a weirdo. From the strange flavours to the abrupt transition between watery and spicy, this one always leaves me a bit puzzled. It’s a challenging, elusive, unstable, enigmatic weirdo that has me scratching my head. Oddly enough, that is precisely why it’s loads of fun to drink. It gets points for keeping it interesting. HOWEVER… I’m still genuinely not sure if I even like this stuff.