TL;DR - Feel free to not care and ignore this part. This is my first review on ScotchIt. Just a little about me to help frame my perspective. I have been drinking scotch for a while starting at a fairly young age – 15. All of it had been blends – lots of JW, Grant’s, Dewars, Chivas, Cutty Sark, Ballentines, you name it… about 4-5 years ago, I ventured into the single malts starting with a bottle of Oban 14, and it was amazing. It was like listening to Springsteen for the first time… amazing. I learned that I prefer no water or ice – I stick to neat or add stones (to some of the lower end stuff of Speysides and Highlands). Though my palate is not fully developed yet, I find myself gravitating towards Islays. With that said, however, one of my favorites is Balvenie Double Wood 17 and the bottle I am reviewing below – I really can’t explain it. So I guess my second prefrence is Speysides and Highlands, I don’t know. Anyway, in addition to single malt, I drink beer – IPAs are my favorite. Here I find myself enjoying a lot of hoppiness, an above average bitterness that finish a bit sweet. If you have had Shipyard Black IPA, you would know exactly what I am talking about. I like spicy food not super spicy, but above average – think a little sriracha on Pizza, Nachos etc… my favorite foods tend to have garlic, oregano, cilantro, etc…
I looked at my collection to see if I can find something that hasn’t been reviewed by fellow submates (subbies?) and I found two bottles. Unfortunately, neither will be opened in the near term – thought ot super pricey, one carries sentimental value, only one that was born when I was in 1980 – just 240 bottles made, and the other is a recent addition to celebrate a successful professional/economic milestone which is currently the crown jewel of the collection. And I know certain people harbor feelings (ranging from ‘whatever’ to utter disdain) towards folks who look at bottles rather than drink them; to that I can say, I don’t give a shit and you really shouldn’t. When I have the opportunity, I purchase two bottles – sometimes it works out, other times it doesn’t due to cost, supply limitations, etc… speaking of supply limitations, I live in an ABC state (New Hampshire, USA) where dusties are rare, but prices never account for rarity – no gouging. Most recent example – I picked up the last Supernova SN14 Committee in the state for $160. It is impossible to negotiate discounts in NH state outlets though, but it is nice to have a nice inventory system online. Massachusetts (MA) is close to New Hampshire and occasionally I like to go hunting there with my cousin – by marriage - (/r/eliasaoude) for cool stuff. Believe it or not, prices in MA are better than NH and as of 2-3 years ago, the state decided to kill the tax on alcohol, brilliant.
So… getting back to the review, after much debate for my first one, I picked AnCnoc (nee Knockdhu) 12 Yr for one simple reason – in my opinion, at ~$35 this is the best bottle for the money and it will never leave my bar.
Scoring – I will give a max score of 30 for nose, 35 for palate, 30 for finish. Overall balance will be factored in the aforementioned scores. 0-5 points maximum will be awarded based on value. Would love your thoughts on the review.
AnCnoc 12 Yr – 43% – 750 ml. Cost $35-40. Highland. Stones (Vermont soapstone).
Color: Medium yellow, markedly similar to the Glenkinchie 12; lighter than the NCF 22 yr (see photo).
Nose: Riesling wine, honey, fresh flowers, dried orange peels. Quite healthy aroma (24/30)
Palate: Continues from the nose – stays sweet, but gets complex with syrup, bitter chocolate, faint citrus, and hint of black pepper. Somewhat oily. (30/35)
Finish – short and sweet. From the oiliness of the palate, I thought it would linger a bit longer but it didn’t. Still complex though with pepper and sweet oatmeal. (24/30)
Value: 5 – and I don’t think there are many out there that will even get a 4 from me.
Overall: This is a very consistent dram from nose to finish. Wish the finish lingered longer, but that’s rare outside of Islay in my experience. I would recommend this to anyone – new entrants into single malt especially - particularly given TODAY’s prices.
83/100 – Keep calm and dram on.