Whisky Focus - anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2 Review

anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2 Review

6th October 2020
Review of the new anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2

The Knockdhu distillery which produces anCnoc single malt whisky was established back in 1894 and was no different to other Scotch whisky distilleries of that time, it used locally sourced peat to fuel the kiln which was used to dry out the malted barley and at the same time the peat also imparted a distinctive aroma into the barley which contributed to the character of the final whisky.

Like other distilleries Knockdhu moved to more modern fuel sources in their whisky production and peaty style anCnoc whisky became a distant memory, that was until 2004 when the good folks at anCnoc decided to take a big step back in time and set about producing a heavily peated spirit in homage to anCnoc's peaty past.

In 2014 the distillery reintroduced peaty style anCnoc whisky with the launch of a limited edition series of peaty single malts which all took their names from traditional peat cutting tools, well they soon run out of peat cutting tool names and decided to launch a more permanent expression of peaty anCnoc with the launch in 2017 of Batch 1 of anCnoc Peatheart.

Almost three years on and the Speyside whisky maker has released anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2, just like the first batch it has been produced using a peated barley with a phenol content of "40 PPM". It was then matured in American Oak ex-bourbon barrels, it has been bottled at 46% ABV, non chill-filtered. naturally coloured with no age statement but Gordon Bruce, Distillery Manager at Knockdhu told me this afternoon during a live zoom tasting of the new Peatheart it is around 14 years old which after tasting I would agree with.

Gordon explained that the new Peatheart Batch 2 is true in flavour and character to the inaugural Batch 1, but with intriguing differences that will delight whisky lovers. He said: "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".

anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2 is a release of 10,200 with a RRP of £52 and you will find it  available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2 Review

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Creamy vanilla caramel, a lemon, pear and green apple fruit mix all infused with a lovely gentle sweet peat smoke.

Taste: The creamy vanilla caramel from the nose leads but then suddenly, bang, the headlined peatheart shows itself with sweet peat smoke filling every corner of the mouth keeping anCnocís signature flavour notes of honey and lemon playing second fiddle.

Finish: Long, sweet peat infused honey and lemon eventually fades to leaving some lovely lingering gentle oak spice and a wee touch of liquorice.

Comment: Loved it, the peat is tamer on the nose than anticipated given the headlined 40ppm but of course that is the phenols measurement of the malted barley used to produce the whisky, I would guess that the whisky in the bottle after distillation and the years of maturation is likely around 16-20ppm. Its Peatheart doesn't start fully beating instantly on the palate then bang it is there accompanied by some lovely signature anCnoc honey, lemon and a touch of oak spice. Another quality peaty dram from anCnoc.

SMW Score 91/100

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