All posts by supermike

anCnoc [Peter Arkle Edition]

anCnoc [Peter Arkle Edition]

Hooray! Another beautiful dram to try!  Thanks Twitter!

This time it was a pleasure to tweet taste the anCnoc: Peter Arkle Edition in a tasting organised by Lucasz of @alembic_tweets and @EdinburghWhisky. It was great to spend another dram-packed evening with new friends, discussing our thoughts and learning more about the wonderful world of whisky!

This was another first for me, not having tasted any other of the anCnoc releases.  Being slightly ‘arty’ myself, I do like what anCnoc have done with their marketing by having the packaging designed by the fantastic Scottish illustrator Peter Arkle.  The packaging is stunning and I love the styling of this release, but in reality it is the quality of the whisky that will sell, not the marketing strategy!

This whisky has been bottled at 46%, after being fully matured for between 6 and 12 years in Fino Sherry casks.  It is non-chill filtered and with its natural colouring, just how we like it!

And so, on a Thursday evening in late May, we gathered to drink and think.  Here are my thoughts…

I was initially struck by the lovely golden hue, it’s inviting, bright and fresh.  On the nose, I was immediately hit with a sweet hit of pear and crisp apple, and as the I savoured the scents in the glass, vanilla and banoffee pie came through in abundance.  This is a rich dram, complex and with time it developed beautifully; there was a nuttiness, and a sweetness too, like spreading thick syrupy honey over toasted granary bread.  Then there was caramelised sugar and a sweet, rich sherry note too.  I was enjoying this!

The anCnoc PA was oily and sticky on the tongue, immediately fruity with unripe pear and crisp apple.  There was the rich and spice of dark sherried fruit cake.  A tongue tingling peppery hit and then also a chewy meaty undertone. Beautiful balance.

As this dram mellowed into the finish, which was long and gentle, I enjoyed a clinging sweetness of milk chocolate and toffee.

I really enjoyed this dram.  My last comment on the night of the Tweet Taste summed up my thought succinctly, describing the Peter Arkle Edition as “my kind of dram!” Although, the meaty undertones I detected may not be to everyone’s taste, I really enjoyed this whisky and was impressed by my first taste of anCnoc! I will be back.

This brilliant dram is only available from Royal Mile Whisky for around £48.00.

Click here to go to Royal Mile Whiskies!

The English Whisky Company Tweet Taste

The English Whisky Company Tweet Taste

On Wednesday we happily took part in the English Whisky Tweet Taste organised by Steve Rush, of TheWhiskyWire, and David Fitt, distiller and Distillery Operations Manager of The English Whisky Company.

The samples of the English Whisky selected by David Fitt

There was an air of mystery around this tweet taste as it was a blind tasting, and very little information had been given by David.  The bottles were numbered 1-4 and would be sampled in numerical order.  The identity and heritage of the whiskies would not be revealed until each had been tried and our collective verdicts given.  Great fun!

And so, this was all we knew;

Midlands Whisky Fest! 19th May 2012

Midlands Whisky Fest! 19th May 2012

The Midlands Whisky Fest! in Stratford had been in our diaries for some time, and it was with a great sense of excitment and expectation that we set off for our second experience of the event run by the Whisky Lounge and Vinology!

Great King Street [Compass Box]

Great King Street [Compass Box]

We were first introduced to this whisky last year by Gregg Glass Assistant Whisky Maker at Compass Box last year while he was on a promotional tour with the company’s core range of whiskies. Even then, still very new to whisky, I was struck by its beautiful balance and depth. Since then it has collected many well deserved accolades, including ‘Best Blended Whisky of the Year 2012’ by Whisky Advocate magazine.

And so to the whisky… The colour is golden hay, very light. Compass Box insist on natural colouring – so no caramel here. Actually, when we visited Compass Box, Gregg showed us some caramel used in other whisky and it was horrid in smell and sight! On first nosing you pick up sweet vanilla, coming from the majority of its time spent in First Fill American Oak Barrels. There is also custard and fire toasted marshmallows. As it develops in the glass there was grass, hay and malt. There is also something metallic… now don’t think odd of me but with this nosing I flashback to a dinky Citroen 2CV toy with a metallic base that I used to play with as a child (and lick because the taste was so interesting!) I was only about 5 or 6 at the time, but that taste was so vividly coming through in the whisky! The palate is all vanilla sweetness, it’s creamy with a slight salty tang. Delicious. The finish is long and creamy with more vanilla, oak and just a whisper of salt.

This is a very good whisky, well balanced, nostalgic (for me!) and a great one to share. This is a whisky with personality that is versatile and can be enjoyed in many different ways. Gregg used GKS to make a Highball for us as a palate cleanser on our day with Compass Box, which was delicious! Learn how to make it here.

Great King Street is available directly from Compass Box at £25 for a 50cl bottling which doesn’t seem at all expensive for the quality of this dram. The Compass Box range has also just become available at The Whisky Shop nationwide.