Peatheart Batch 2
anCoc releases Peatheart Batch 2 for global sales. Philip Day looks closely at this Highland (Speyside) single malt providing background information on the whisky along with his tasting notes.
As the Covid 19 crisis continues we are being urged to purchase our festive gifts early and Knockdhu Distillery’s anCnoc brand (pronounced ‘a-nock’) offers a timely suggestion for whisky lovers (or their relatives): Peatheart Batch 2 Highland (Speyside) single malt.
After a successful limited release in Sweden, this second consignment of its award-winning permanent peated expression will be available from 30th September 2020 to drinkers around the world, building on the international success of its Peatheart Batch 1 which was launched in 2017.
Whisky enthusiasts will surely be keen to get their hands on this bottling since Peatheart Batch 2 is certain to be in high demand following the critical acclaim achieved by its predecessor Peatheart Batch 1 – which included a coveted category gold medal at the World Whiskies Awards in 2019.
Batch 2 features the same smoky, mellow wood notes and phenol content as the original (40ppm) – but this time a more subtle smokiness is balanced with anCnoc’s brighter, fruitier flavours.
Crafted at Knockdhu Distillery in the small village of Knock, by Huntly in Aberdeenshire, Peatheart uses peated barley in its production to add a rich, smoky twist to anCnoc’s classic new make spirit, before maturation in American oak ex-bourbon barrels.
Gordon Bruce, Knockdhu Distillery Manager, explained that the new batch is true in flavour and character to the original, but with intriguing differences that will delight whisky lovers:
‘Despite having the same ppm as Batch 1, slight variations in maturation mean that our second Peatheart bottling offers something a little bit different, with a more refined smoky character. The combination of fresh, fruity anCnoc notes with these more mellow peat flavours creates a wonderful modern whisky that will be enjoyed by whisky fans across the spectrum.
The peaty range now sits alongside our signature anCnoc whiskies to give drinkers two very distinctive sides to our whisky. Whether it’s a dram from our ‘dark’ or ‘light’ side, both represent our commitment to using the best traditional techniques and craftsmanship to make a very modern single malt whisky’.
Let’s look at the expression in detail:
anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2 (2020 Distillery Edition)
Tasting Notes (Supplied by Knockdhu Distillery):
Colour: Light gold (natural colour)
Nose: Understated peat smoke and barbecue balanced by ripe pineapples, pears and a dark, rich tone of baked toffee apples. Subtle vanilla and sparks of fresh lemon rind lend lightness and elegance to the composition.
Taste: Structured and full, with rich smoke in balance with juicy gummy bears and the light, fizzy sweetness of spun sugar. Undertones of a how are you? barn and fudge give it a delicious weight.
Finish: Long and growing, distinctly spicy and sweet with a warming, smoky finale.
Personal tasting notes (Official sample kindly provided by Knockdhu Distillery through Burt Greener Communications)
Nose: Engagingly sweet notes of toffee and fruity aromas evocative of freshly barbecued honey-drizzled pineapple slices with an attractive peppery punch in the background.
Taste: The influence of the Bourbon oak barrels is discernible but does not overpower the whisky spirit. Balanced, rich smokiness with a stylish, creamy vanilla mouth feel gives way to a zesty mellow sweetness, creating a well-rounded, layered dram.
Finish: Long lingering finish, with enduring waves of enticing peppery spices and notes of sweet and creamy fruitiness. A smoke infused finale develops as a warming afterglow.
The very fact that allowing the peated whisky to fully mature in the ex-Bourbon casks has given the spirit time to interact, instilling it with a unique character. In short, the maturation period has created a well-rounded layered classic dram. The smoky warmth and the spiced fruity notes make it very accessible, at a reasonable price point.
ABV: 46% non-chill-filtered/ 70 cl
1700 cases of the new batch will be available in the UK and for global markets, available from reputable independent and specialist retailers and whisky shops from 1st October.
Presented in a dramatic opaque black bottle and tube, which glisten with touches of bronze and white, it is set to be a perfect gift for whisky fans over the Christmas and New Year season.
To sum up anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2, the maturation period has created an excellent classic dram, suitable for fans of anCnoc or anyone who wants to try something more adventurous than supermarket whiskies on their journey of whisky discovery but is afraid of paying over the odds.
anCnoc is produced at Knockdhu Distillery, which is located in Knock near Huntly in Aberdeenshire, sitting in the shadow of the ‘Black Hill’ (Gaelic: ‘Knockdhu’). It was established in 1894 by the pioneering John Morrison, after he spotted an abundance of the natural resources needed to make fine malt whisky in the area: pure spring water and plentiful supplies of peat and barley. The site was also chosen for its proximity to the Knock Station on the Banff branch line of the Great North of Scotland Railway (GNSR) between Aberdeen and Elgin.
Today, Knockdhu is known as one of the smallest and most enchanting distilleries in the Scottish Highlands, producing a refreshingly modern single malt whisky while still employing the most traditional skills and processes. The Black Hill continues to supply pure water for the whisky making process. The distillery’s two copper pot stills replicate the original 1894 design, their bulbous bases giving anCnoc its light, fresh, fruity flavour. Old fashioned worm tubs are used to condense the vaporised alcohol.
Taken together, the pure waters, locally malted barley, distillation in traditional copper stills and maturation in American ex-bourbon casks combine to give the whisky its smooth, well-balanced, classic Speyside character. Previously named ‘Knockdhu’ after the distillery, the whisky was renamed under the Gaelic name anCnoc (‘the hill’ in English) in 1994, to avoid confusion with whisky from the Knockando Distillery.
anCnoc’s first foray into peated whisky began back in 2014 with the launch of a new ‘Peaty’ range, inspired by the whiskies made early in Knockdhu’s history using local peated barley.
Over the years, Distillery Manager Gordon Bruce, and his team at Knockdhu Distillery have built an extensive range of Speyside Single Malt whiskies, offering a flavour and style to suit all tastes, all of which can be discovered on the distillery website.
The Distillery normally welcomes visitors, however because of Covid-19 restrictions distillery tours are not currently available.
Inver House Distillers is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Beverage Holdings Ltd., one of the drinks industry’s most dynamic global businesses. It produces its Scotch whiskies and gin at five distilleries around Scotland: Pulteney, Speyburn, Knockdhu, Balblair and Balmenach. Inver House is also highly active in the warehousing and blending of Scotch whisky, with warehousing for 500,000 barrels and state of the art blending and laboratory facilities at its headquarters in Airdrie. The business has won many prestigious accolades over the years, including the Icons of Whisky Distiller of the Year Award for Scotland (2017).
- Press release care of Burt Greener Communications
- Others kindly provided with thanks by Burt Greener Communications