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tiger samples anCnoc 1975

Jul 9, 2015

We asked Tiger, Edinburgh Whisky Blog editor and General Manager at the Usquabae Whisky Bar in Edinburgh to try our oldest expression to date, anCnoc 1975 Vintage. Here is what he thought.


anCnoc 1975 Vintage


How much change takes place in a generation? Look at fashion, cars, sport, music, politics or any other given topic and I’m sure you’ll agree countless things have their brief moment in the spotlight before something newer, cooler and more innovative comes along. However, if you consider whisky, not a lot changes. Not in terms of production anyway. For example, production at Knockdhu Distillery has barely changed since the distillery was set up in the late 1800s. A single pair of stills and very little automation. The names on a staff rota from 1975 might be different to the ones on a rota from today, but not much else.

As a follow up to our #anCnocAWeek competition which ran on Edinburgh Whisky Blog throughout June, I’ve decided to take a look at one of the jewels of the anCnoc range – the 1975 vintage. This whisky is a marriage of only three American oak and Spanish oak ex-sherry casks, released last year and limited to just 1590 bottles. It was distilled in an age of flared jeans and Rubik’s cubes, a time before the internet and mobile phones; it is whisky from a different generation.

anCnoc 1975/2014
1590 bottles
44.2% ABV

Nose: Huge. Like, pretty massive. Starting with tropical fruit notes of pineapple, peach and mango it then moves to Demerara sugar, sandalwood, dried fruit, a lot of exotic spices, some earthy notes and even a hint of peat.

Palate: The taste matches the nose – lots of depth and complexity. Dark cherries, rum soaked raisins, sultana cake to start with. Then cacao, tobacco leaf, unlit cigar and leather. A real sweet earthy note comes through too, like a mulchy forest floor. Quite a bit of oak too, which you’d expect from a whisky this old.

Finish: The wood spice hangs around, along with old books, polished wood and a rich sherry sweetness.

Having been fortunate enough to taste several anCnoc expressions before, I’m familiar with the distillery style and this certainly comes through in this whisky. The sherry casks don’t dominate at all but instead add a fantastic depth to the whisky. This is a wonderfully complex liquid and a joy to taste – it’s quite different to the younger whiskies in the range which allows me to see another side to this spirit. A big, bold, beautiful anCnoc.