tisdag 24 november 2015

Laphroaig 32 years old!!!

Hey friends and followers! Feels so great to be back with a tasting note, and not just any regular tasting note, but actually the 32 year old Laphroaig which was released this autumn! 

On the 24th of september I was invited to a parallel "Laphroaig Live"-event in Stockholm Sweden to taste the new 32 yo, but sadly I could not attend (due to a work trip to Brazil so…), but through two friends I still managed to source down to small samples of this beauty, together adding up to 1,5 cl. To be able to taste this one sure feels great! 

Now, this 32 year old Laphroaig is very limited, both looking at the number of bottles, 5880 world wide, and looking at the price 1000 euros… All of the whisky has been completely matured in Hogsheads that previously held Oloroso (!), most of them are first fill and a small portion is refill. 46,6% ABV which is cask strength. There is one cask of 34 yo in the mix so this will indeed be very exciting to taste so… let’s do it!

check out those legs!!
Mmm… reminds me a lot of the old 30 yo-version! But this 32 yo has a lot deeper and darker sherrynotes… it’s a very interesting nose, the sherrynotes are mixed with very appareant citrus, kind of like thick lemon juice, or rather like sugarsyrup with lemon juice in it! Thinking about the peat I pick up somthing like smoked dark raisins, peaty milkchocolate, smoke infused vanilla that reminds me almost of panna cotta pudding, or panna cotta mixed with vanilla fudge. Very deep stuff indeed! There is also dried apple, some distant traces of cinnamon and far far away in the very top register of the nose there is a slight touch of something violet. Well, let’s not ”over nose” this one, to sum up, the nose is absolutely brilliant and going on forever… Let’s have some!

beautiful color right?!
When holding a sip of this dram in my mouth for a couple of seconds it starts of veeeery sooooft with a rich, dark and medium peaty-ness and a really sugary sweetness that is so smooth! Traces of that sugary lemon jucie from the nose… Absolutely beautiful! Still holding the sip in my mouth it starts to move on into this below medium-dryness, and swallowing brings some very soft dryness to the top of my palate and the tip of my tounge. Then comes the heat in my throat and chest, I feel something like smoked and/or roasted almonds, sugar coated milk chocolate (whatever that is…), something reminding me of a mix of elder flowers and dark raisins. But any attempt to try and describe how the sherry influence/sherry flavours actually taste like is totally redundant, cause this dram is soo good and it can’t really be described, at least I can’t… The level of this Laphroaig is absolutely way up there with the best sherried Laphroaigs I’ve tried (which includes the 30 yo and the 1980 27 yo…). The aftertaste is quite bold I’d say, quite powerful (not overpowering though) and brings cigarillos/tobacco with medium peat and milk chocolate flavours, even something like sugar syrupy cherries (yes, the berry).

To sum up this is very deep stuff! Absolutely no need to water this one. Very complex and one can tell that it really is a small production, 5880 bottles should add up to something like 8 sherry hogsheads right? So very much small batch character, anyways, an absolute treat to be able to try this so BIG thanks to my fellow blogger David, and to Mr X on facebook (can’t seem to remember your name) for hooking me up with these small but very tasty samples! Sláinte!

In order to receive weekly updates on everything SamuelWhisky, please make sure also to follow my FB-page by going here, and my twitter-page by going here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com

copyright belongs to/all rights reserved Laphroaig

tisdag 8 september 2015

Visiting the Swedish Norrtelje Distillery to taste their first release of whisky – 6yo organic and sherry matured!

On the 7th of July I was fortunate enough to visit the Norrtelje Distillery, situated about 70 kilometers north-east of Stockholm, it lies in the midst of the beautiful Roslagen County. You will find the distillery in the countryside just a few minutes outside of the town Norrtälje.

The visit truly turned out to be a VIP tour! Of course I’m not saying I’m a VIP, I’m just saying it sure was a generous tour. As you can see from the pics below I ended up tasting pretty much their entire line-up of products! Before the tasting I was given a very thorough tour of the distillery, from bottom to top, and also, I was able to have a wee chat with Richard (the Managing Director) about anything related to the distillery and the release of their first whisky! As you can all understand it was an absolutely amazing experience!

Now, Norrtelje Distillery is Swedens first and foremost producer of distillates made from fruit of all kinds. Some of their products are non-matured and some are barrel-matured. Apart from this they also produce what might be called Swedish calvados (some made from apples and some from pear), the Nordic Arrack liquer called ”Punsch”, AND it is currently one of only three Swedish distilleries  producing organic whisky made entirely from Swedish organic barley and organic yeast. 

Norrtelje Distillery was founded in 2001 and up and running in 2002. It is a completely family-owned company, and before husband and wife Richard and Kristina (the Master Distiller) started producing spirits, Richards family had been farmers at the land of the estate for five (!) generations. Production at the distillery is very craft-y, definitely a micro distillery and there are no computers what so ever involved in the production. The two copper pot stills, manufactured at Carl GmbH in Eislingen - Germany, and made for producing fruit-distillates, are run entirely manually. The wash still holds 450 litres and the spirit still holds 150 litres and they only produce 4000 litres of raw spirit for whisky, per year. During my visit to the distillery Richard proudly told me 

”We don’t strive for an as big turnout as possible, we strive for an as goodtasting and palatable turnout as possible (…) And we don’t believe in producing big batches, no matter what we produce and blend here at our distillery, is very rarely more than 700 litres per batch, rather the normal for us is between 350 to 700 litres”  

washstill to the left, spiritstill to the right
Richard also told me that from 1000 kilos of malted barley they end up with around 250 litres of raw-spirit at 40% ABV. But of course, when the raw-spirit that will later become whisky comes out of the spirit still, it holds around 83% ABV and before being filled into casks it is watered down to 60% ABV which then goes into casks for private purchasing (30 litres) or into casks for the distillery to keep for themselves (50 litres and up to 250 litres). The oloroso sherry casks used for this release are both made and rebuilt in Germany. A part from maturing their whisky in oloroso sherry casks, they also use bourbon casks, some are from Jack Daniels and some are from Heaven Hill. 

Richard at the stills
For this first release, which is a really small one, only 700, 70cl bottles, have been produced. A couple of hundred of those has been reserved and ordered on beforehand by cask owners, 400 bottles will be released at the Swedish state monopoly this Thursday the 10th of September, and the rest will be brought to whiskyfestivals and the world wide market. The recipe/blend for this particular release consists of whisky from 9 oloroso sherry casks, out of which the majority are 50 litres but some are 30 litres. All of the whisky in this release was laid down in 2009 (now 6 years old) and should therefor rightly be referred to as a vintage release. It has been bottled at 46% ABV. 

SamuelWhisky at the spiritstill!
During our little chat, I asked Richard if they have any particular reason for, or philosophy about, not stating the age of the whisky on the bottle: 

”Well, you know, we feel like it doesn’t really matter if it’s say three, five, or seven years. The most important thing for us is that it tastes good! Of course, the law requires it to be at least three years old to be a whisky, but we decided not to release it at the age of four years old, not even at five years, because we didn’t consider it to be ready for being released. So this is the point when we find it to be ”done” [mature]. And let’s say that we find something in the warehouse from the 2011 vintage that we consider to be ”done”, well, then we would just go with that and release it! So in conclusion, for us the taste of our whisky is more important than the age of the whisky”    

The first release, a 6 yo organic Swedish whisky!
Richard added that when it comes to their production of whisky, they don’t really view themselves as competitors to the other Swedish whisky producers/distillers, but rather to act as a complement to the other actors. My personal interpretation of this kind of thinking is that it not only feels like a very humble approach both to other actors but also to consumers. It also indicates that they want to, and in fact do produce a whisky with a completely different style than other actors do. 

tasting the whisky at the distillery!
During my visit I enjoyed 13 (!) of their products
Richard also told me that future releases will most likely consist of roughly the same kind of recipe/blend, but will probably be a vintage 2010, then 2011, etcetera. From e-mailing with Kristina today, she also let me know that there are plans though of another release that might be launched in about 4-8 months time. You want to know what that release will be?! Well then I can tell you friends and followers exclusively that it will be a single cask bourbon release (190 litres). Unfortunately I don't know from what distillery this bourbon barell comes from, but this is what Kristina wrote about it: 

"I tried the whisky maturing in that cask a couple of weeks ago, and it has developed a fantastic flavor!"

Sounds great right?! :) 

Anyways, during my visit to the distillery I did try their first whisky which was about two months before it's release. But at that time I had tasted about 12 (!) of their other products before the whisky, so it was really nice of Richard to let me bring a sample to try at home. So, friends and followers, let's se what this first release from Norrtelje Distillery is like! 

the beautiful tasting room!
Holding the glass a couple of centimetres from my nose I pick up a very dry note of sherry, sort of like very dried figs (almost old dried figs), there is also some touches of raisins, both white and dark, they too seem almost old and dry, very sugary. I wouldn’t say that it smells like a first fill sherry cask, rather the second or the third filling. Nosing it really close, with my nose down the glass, I pick up yeast from baking bread, a mix of this and the smell of maturing casks in a warehouse, not strong raw-spirit, but still raw-spirit as one would experience it in the stillroom of a distillery. I wouldn’t say it smells young, rather it’s a whisky with a big touch of breadyeast. There are also quite big whiffs of bitter almond, cinnamon and even cardamom, so a lot of baking stuff going on here. Below this layer I find oven-dried slices of apple, quite big touches of calvados, and finally there is dried lemon peel. Overall I’d describe the nose as hints of sherry cask with quite dry and big acidity. Ok, let’s see what’s on the palate! 

Yeah! Definitely more sherry influence, and a more classic sherry influence on the palate than what appears on the nose. The first 2-3 seconds it starts off on a mix of sugary sweetness and dry yeast in combo with the very dry (old dried) figs from the nose. When swallowing I quickly pick up wood/cask, not overly boasting oak but a kind of ”thin” cask-y-ness. Immediately after that it moves on into the oven-dried slices of apple, the cardamom is there too, and even some bitter but sweet kind of herbs, there is even som polybody/natures liquorice, kind of green. The aftertaste actually reminds me a lot of the same style as a classic and quite young anCnoc (say something like 12yo)… the aftertaste is thus very palatable and more-ish… Very nice aftertaste. Overall I’d definitely describe the palate as more mature than what the nose indicates. With that said I’d say that the palate seems to have ”evolved” more than the nose. 

Richard to the left, SamuelWhisky to the right :)
To sum up I’d say that this is a quite different whisky, or maybe the word I’m looking for is unique. Apart from the similarity in the aftertaste to anCnoc, it doesn’t really taste like any whisky I’ve ever tasted. It would be great to see what happens to the nose, and hence the overall impression if this was allowed some more time in cask (say 2-3 more years)! Given the type of stills used, a kind of a mix of potstills and columnstills, and designed for producing fruitdestillate, I would say that this whisky and this particular version doesn’t really deserve to be compared with what has been previously released from the other Swedish distilleries, and I think that people trying this whisky have to approach it with that in mind. This style of this whisky appears to me to be a kind of mix of whisky, fruit-infused whisky with touches of caskmatured grappa, or maybe even calvados-infused whisky, and I really look forward to see what the future holds, and what some more time in the casks would bring!

Sláinte and a big thanks to Richard and Kristina for arranging such a nice visit for me and for sharing a sample of this one! Please make sure also to follow my FB-page by going here, and my twitter-page by going here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com

måndag 24 augusti 2015

Swedish Whisky from Smögen – Single Sauternes Cask 57,3% ABV

Today I bring you a review of the coming release from the Swedish west coast distillery, Smögen! As you know by now they only produce peated whisky (45 ppm). During the Gothenburg Beer and Whisky festival I was very lucky to exchange a couple of words with Pär, the distillery manager/master distiller, to see if there was anything in particular that he wanted me to review. And of course there was, a single sauternes cask (7/2011) at the age of 4 yo. It has of course spent all of it's time in the sauternes cask, so no silly finish! Here in Sweden it will be released on thursday and international buyers can find the products of Smögen Distillery here

Ok let's see what's on the palate!

The top layer is sweet and sour in an extreme mix! I imagine something like fermented dark raisins resting in freshly squeezed limejuice… (no wonder the raisins would ferment if you leave ’em resting in juice just like that… J ) very intriguing! Below the top layer I pick up something reminding me of a mix of extremely ripe plums in sugar syrup, damp leather, bicycle tire, green marzipan and some very, very dark and fat peat. Very earthy indeed… There’s also roasted hazelnuts and maraschino cherries, actually, this dram is quite christmas-y! Believe me people, I could nose this one forever!

OOH    M-Y    G-O-D! I just have to buy a bottle of this one! The beginning of the the palate is soo smooth, sugar syrup-y, sugar candied dried figs, dark rasisins, chocolate sticky-cake. Simly amazing! After swollowing, everything is slowly moving on into a quite powerful kick of very dark and viscous/sluggish peat. Getting more and more dry, not just the tounge but even my throat! This is definitely, without a doubt, THE best Swedish whisky I’ve had so far, nothing else comes close so the other Swedish distillers really have something to be inspired by here. In fact, this is one of the best whiskies I’ve ever had!

now isn't that a beautiful color?!

I can’t believe this is ”only” four years old, so mature and full bodied, and it has spent all of it’s four years in a full sized 228 litre cask and I would describe the whisky as fully grown up. I can’t imagine what would happen if you let it rest in the cask for even longer…

the bottle. copyright belongs to Smögen Distillery
Sláinte and a big thanks to Pär for sharing a sample of this one! Please make sure also to follow my FB-page by going here, and my twitter-page by going here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com 

Pär to the left, SamuelWhisky to the right
the sauternes cask! copyright belongs to Smögen Distillery

lördag 1 augusti 2015

Laphroaig CS batch 007 vs. Lahroaig Green Stripe 57,3% ABV!

Dear friends and followers! SamuelWhisky is back after a one month of summer break, although in retrospect it has not been that much of a summer weather, at least not here in Sweden… Anyways, today I will do something I've been longing to do for a looong time; put the newly released Laphroaig Cask Strength batch 007 at 56,3% ABV head to head with the so called "Green Stripe" Laphroaig Cask Strength at 57,3% ABV. The Green Stripe was the original and first version of Laphroaig CS to ever be relased. Since then it has changed design three times.  

So, I will put the latest release of Laphroaig CS, batch 007 which was released in honor of Laphroaigs 200th anniversary, against the old Green Stripe (released around 2005 I think). The difference between the two is only the ABV. Usually the Green Stripe is remembered among fans as a real peat monster, and it is said that the versions coming after are more accessible to "the big crowd", whatever that means… Lets find out by starting off with batch 007!

007 nose:
Very seasalt-y! Huge amounts of ”fresh” leather, or whatever the opposite of old leather is… we also got quite a big load of roasted bitter almond, and of course LOTS of peat, almost liquorice-infused peat in fact (or the other way around). The peat is not smoky though, rather drawing on ashes, or totally burnt out and cold peat. With a really deep nosing, and really looking for it, I do get quite a lot of dried lemon peel. Beautiful stuff, could nose this one  forever…

Green Stripe nose:
Wow! This old expression boasts of vanilla, huge amounts of it! I didn’t even pick that up in the 007… The peat is definitely more restrained in the Green Stripe and not as ”warm” and seasalt-y-ish as in the 007. The dried lemon peel is here too but more drawing towards dried orange peel, or citric peel in general, mixed up with full-fat (unwhipped) cream. On the other hand, in this one there is a more citric note in general that together with all the vanilla sort of surrounds or embraces everything else, compared to the 007 where the peat is sorrounding everything, interesting…

007 palate:
Oh damn! This is soo intense stuff! Extremely salt, not liquorice but rather actual salt! Not just on the front of the tounge but covering my whold mouth, throat, everything, almost like as if John Cambell himself decided to pour some salt directly into the bottle! Under the layer of salt is a quite agressive peat mixed with liquid smoke and citrus-fruits/citruspeel… In the layer below I get overripe pear and vanilla. This is incredibly intense and really warms my chest, I’m not kidding people, it really starts a warm almost fire-y feeling in my whole body, my forehead starts to sweat… wow! Ending with a pleasant mix of sweet and sour.

Green Stripe palate:
These two are really interesting to compare! The Green Stripe starts off really, really short on the salt, just for a micro-second, and then comes some huge vanilla, fudge and cream, almost vanilla ice-cream in fact, very more-ish! The salt in this one does not taste of actual salt, rather like sweet and soft liquorice. In general or overall the Green Stripe is softer or perhaps calmer than the 007. The Green Stripe does not at all have the same ooumph, don’t get me wrong, it’s a ”punch-in-your-face” kind of a dram but not really in the same way as the 007… Ending with peated milk chocolate and traces of cold coffee, nice!

Green Stripe to the left, batch 007 to the right. I found the 007 to be slightly darker in color 
To sum up, both versions are of course great expressions or interpretations of Laphroaig and it’s really hard for me to choose one over the other. Today however, on a quite warm and sunny day here in Sweden, I will go for the Green Stripe with its overall soft character (despite its one percent higher ABV than the 007). On a really rugged or cold winters day I would definitely go for the 007. After all it sure is very much depending on the occasion and the context. 

Sláinte to all friends and followers and big thanks for following SamuelWhisky! Please make sure also to follow my FB-page by going here, and my twitter-page by going here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com 

onsdag 1 juli 2015

Laphroaig 15 yo – 200th anniversary edition!

In celebration of 200 years of Laphroaig, they decided to bring back the 15yo, which was discontinued in 2009 in favor of an 18 yo, which will instead be discontinued (in 2016) in favor of the 15 yo coming back… sounds complicated? Well, never mind that, let's just try the new limited edition 200th anniversary 15yo (I know it's complicated…). Anyways, it holds 43% ABV and I guess it is only, or near to only, matured in bourbon barrels.

Mmm… classic Laphroaig! but overall very soft, both in terms of peat and in terms of everything else, so to speak… Trying to describe what’s on the nose I’d say that the peat is in the background and in the foreground we instead have very ”exotic fruits” and sweet liquorice actually. The exotic fruits are peach, passionfruit, and pear (maybe not that exotic but anyway…). Now that I think about it, when focusing on the peat-y stuff of this one, which is as I said more in the background or in the second layer, I feel that it kind of draws towards freshly ground black pepper… the black pepper mingles very nice with the liquorice and some kind of citric stuff… there are also some whiffs of arrack and soft vanilla… Now I wonder how this new 15yo compares to the old one?? Isn’t it amazing that I just ”happen” to have a sample of the old one lying around?! ☺

old on the left, new to the right

Nose of old 15yo:
Wow, I did not expect this… extremly calm and almost anonymous in comparison… almost no peat at all (!) there is a handful of vanilla though. The only exotic fruit that I pick up in this one is a very, very distant peach, maybe a touch of overripe banana or something like that. Other than that, in comparison with the new one, this is as calm as the night on a windless night. The new one is an explosion, yes an explosion, of scents on the nose… Ok, let’s see what the new on tastes like!

Palate (new 15yo):
Oh yes! Beautiful and classic Laphroaig! Starts of with a mix of salt and peat, elderflower lemonade. We also have a quite evident vanilla, there is also something reminding me of coffee, sort of, and something almost like milk-chocolate. Very thick and rich in texture actually, very more-ish/chewy… A bit of ”iron” and something citric or rather orange-y. The aftertaste is dry and softly, softly burning, but definitely not drying (which might sound strange but it’s the truth, I swear). Warming my chest beautifully…

Palate of old 15yo:
Compeltely different! At least when it comes to the first seconds/the first experience. The old one is not as elegant and soft/polished, but rather more ”out there”! The opposite of it’s nose that is… Very funny, a strange experience. Compared to the palate of the new one, the old one is as I said more out there, ”lots” of peat and kind of rugged, but sadly it does not have much of the elegant and soft side which is so nice and chewy/more-ish with the new one… The aftertaste of this old version brings something to mind that has to do with sherry-influence, maybe dried figs… other than that it’s kind of agressive on the aftertaste (in comparison at least), and also somthing quite green/herb-y. 

I would not really say that I would like to pick the nose from one and the palate from one to make an ultimate combination, because it’s so much about what mood you are in from time to time, and what kind of scents and tastes you would like to experience in a particular moment so I really don’t think that I can pick a combo of the two. But for now, during this beautiful summer day, I will go for the new version with it’s elegant nose and its more-ish palate! So Sláinte to 200 years of wonderful Laphroaig, and here’s to 200 more! 

Please follow SamuelWhisky on my Zuckerberg-page by going here, and on my bird-page by going here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com Sláinte!

onsdag 24 juni 2015

Kilchoman Loch Gorm (Batch 3 – 2015) 46% ABV

Dear followers! As you know by now, a couple of weeks ago I was very lucky to once again receive a package of samples from the nice people at Clydesdale (Sweden stop importer and seller of whisky and other beverages). The package contained a bunch of Kilchomans and now the time has finally come for me to try another one of the, namely the third batch of Kilchoman Loch Gorm that has been matured solely in sherry casks! Swedes will find it here. Ok, let’s see what we have here!

Unfortunately I can’t really say that I pick up any specific or very evident notes of sherry cask… However, I do pick up something strongly reminding me of oranges or orange peel (maybe qumquats?) in combo with burnt sugar (maybe that’s the sherry influence in this whisky…). There’s also a fair amount of smooth vanilla. Beneath this top layer it’s of course impossible not to notice the very big peat, which has bold notes of burnt grass, pear and a very citric overnote in it. Nice, a really bold peat!

Luckily there is some sherry-stuff on the palate! In the beginning I pick up a combo of salt and burnt sugar, sounds strange but I do… then of course comes the peat, a very rubber-y-ish kind of peat, rubber as in bicycle tires, moving on into sultana raisins so no really dark notes of sherry. The orange-y stuff actually comes back on the palate, or maybe it’s in there with the sugary stuff(?). We also have sweet and quite chewy liquorice. After a while everything becomes very, very dry, the whole tounge aswell as the upper-inner mouth… what ’s left in the late aftertaste is sort of a mix of peat, smoke and milkchocolate, kind of like having enjoyed a nice cigar… 

To sum up, please feel free to compare this tasting note with my tasting note of last years batch of the Loch Gorm. To me it's very interesting to see that I basically or in general picked up kind of the same things back then… I find it hard to believe that the sherry casks used for Loch Gorm are first fill, not that anyone has claimed that of course, but if I was the master distiller of Kilchoman I would definitely take this expression a bit longer and put the new-make into some really active and first fill sherry casks and let the fans of Kilchoman really experience that profile! Anyways, this expression of Kilchoman is of course nice in its own way, a very unique style and a very unique distillery for sure, but that is what I would like to experience!

A big thanks to the nice people at Clydesdale Original Scotch Whisky Co. Ltd Great Britain for sending me this tradesample! Please follow SamuelWhisky on my Zuckerberg-page by going here, and on my bird-page by going here

Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com Sláinte!

all rights/copyright to this pic belongs to Kilchoman distillery

tisdag 16 juni 2015

anCnoc 18yo 46% ABV!

When working with/taking care of Laphroaig at this years Beer and Whiskyfestival in Gothenburg I also had the great oppurtunity to visit some friends of mine in the buisness and talk about my favourite distillers/brands. I stopped by at Berntson Brands to see what’s going on and asked if there was anything in particular they wanted me to review. My friend Tommy was very keen on having me do a review of their next release, namely the new 18yo from anCnoc (Knockdhu Distillery). The 18yo will soon replace the 16yo so...

Now, according to the website the 18yo has been matured in a combination of Spanish ex-sherry casks as well as in American bourbon barrels. However, from the inside-material I have been provided with (big thanks Tommy) we get some more precise info stating the following: "Matured initially in first and second fill American oak, ex-bourbon casks, with a period of further maturation in first fill Spanish oak, ex sherry butts".

That's more like it! In other words, this is a sherry finished anCnoc! Also, bottled at 46% ABV and non chill-filtered. In Sweden, this bottling was released on the 5th of June but in very limited numbers, only 132 bottles. That said, only a few bottles are still available but Tommy tells me that they will try and source some more bottles ASAP. For international buyers it's available here  

So, is it yummy? Well let's find out… 

Nose: Mmm, really nice! So soft but still fat… Compared to the other anCnoc standard editions (the 12yo and  the 16yo which I would think of as primarily bourbon-ish) this one has a lot of sherry influence on the nose! The sherry-style is in fact the first thing I pick up so that’s nice! Quite powerful sherry influence that is, and also being quite thick and bold for being an anCnoc. This particular part of the nose also has a quite rich "citric" charachter to it. Besides this I also pick up a mix of dried peaches, dried figs and something like canned pears, maybe even the juice itself… maybe even a bit of pinneaple? Cool! below this layer of stuff we also have a quite fat vanilla vibe going on and on and on that’s sort of carrying all of the other stuff in it’s hand. I really could nose this forever… BUT! At the same time I really want to have a taste!

Tommy to the left, me on the right. As you can see I have a tasting note of Old Pulteney 35yo coming up! :)
Palate: Oh yes! This 18 year old really has an emphasis on sherry! Absolutetly beautiful palate! Together with this very ”warm” and confident mouthfeel of bold sherry-influence I pick up what I would refer to as slowly running quite dark honey… mmm… we also have a big hand of vanilla but not the fudge-ey kind, rather high-class vanilla powder in style (not dry of course)… also, we have smooooth almond paste, and dried sticky/chewy dates, but I can’t really pick up any of the fruits from the nose. All this is warming my chest in a wonderful way. Folks, together with the 35yo this is definitely the best (unpeated) anCnoc I’ve tasted so far, and I’m really not used to an anCnoc being this sherry-influenced, great stuff let me tell you, if I had a bottle of this one at home, I would definitely enjoy a wee dram of it every day!

A big thanks to the nice people at Berntson, especially to Tommy for providing me with the opportunity to try this beauty! Please follow SamuelWhisky on my Zuckerberg-page by going here, and on my bird-page by going here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky unless stated. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com Sláinte!

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p.s I've heard there is a 24yo anCnoc coming soon and I think it is supposed to be exclusive for Sweden! it will be released at systembolaget as soon as the stock of the 22yo is out!