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anCnoc 12 Year Old

Baffling...

0 882

@hunggarReview by @hunggar

9th Jun 2014

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  • Nose
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  • Overall
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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.

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8 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Well, you've got me baffled here. I own a bottle of An Cnoc 12 which I haven't opened yet. From previous reviews, I always expected it to be bright, light, grassy and refreshing. When I give it a try I will now also be looking for wasabi and mustard. Curious, and curious how An Cnoc 12 one has lovers, haters, and indifferenters.

5 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

Well to be honest it is light, bright and grassy when it's at its best. When it isn't, it can be anywhere from pleasant to disappointing. It's quite a chameleon, this one. It seems to change not just from glass to glass, but from sip to sip. I suspect you'll enjoy this one more than I do, though. It's certainly not boring.

5 years ago 0

broadwayblue commented

I've given this one a few tries but just can't seem to enjoy it. Worst part for me is an unpleasant aftertaste.

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I plan on sampling the 16 YO

5 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

@rigmorole, I just wrote up the 16. I prefer it, but it seems not everybody does. Looking forward to hearing your take on it.

5 years ago 0

@FMichael
FMichael commented

I wonder if you might have an 'off' bottling hunggar?

Of the handful of Ancnoc 12 bottles I've enjoyed - all have been pretty much the same - as in solid flavors of honey/vanilla/citrus (although I have noticed a difference between 2 different 16 yr Ancnoc that I've had).

When I think of 'grass' - I always think of the Glenkinchie 12 yr, and more recently the Aberfeldy 12 yr.

5 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

@FMichael: That’s actually very possible. If my bottle as a whole was a dud, then it could be said that I never got to know this whisky at all. But if it wasn't a dud, then perhaps is just a case of different tastes at work.

Either way, I found this one both fascinating an elusive. And I can totally appreciate why some people would love it. A lot of people praise this for its consistency. My issue isn’t that the whisky is inconsistent, but rather the character itself is confused. For me “grassy” is a broad term, encompassing anything from Japanese to farmy to herbal. I get grass here, as do many others, which I don’t find incongruous. What I do find distinctive about this is the Indian flavours of fennel, cumin, curry, and mustard. They are rarely mentioned in other reviews, which leads me to suspect that this may indeed be different. Perhaps I do need to give this a second go with a fresh bottle. If I do that and my perspective changes, I’ll be sure to post an update on this review.

Thanks, I do appreciate the input and you may be completely right about that.

5 years ago 0

@FMichael
FMichael commented

@ hunggar - it's the #1 reason why I don't do reviews - I consider myself to have a very ordinary palate; it's either 'good-bad-ok'.

I do get a handful of flavors when consuming a single malt - however I'm nowhere near those with a more precise nose/palate such as yourself, or others here.

All that said - I do enjoy those who post their reviews since it helps me identify flavors in any particular whisky...Who would've thought that the consumption of alcohol could be so educational?

lol

5 years ago 0

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