how does anCnoc mature?

Posted on March 19, 2015


We take mature whisky for granted. Over the years we've been so spoiled by great, old spirit that we now sometimes consider a 12-year-old whisky young. We're certainly guilty of that too, on many occasions we referred to our flagship expression as entry-level. That is a mark of decadence if we've ever seen one. Twelve years of maturation in oak casks is a long process that influences and transforms spirit in the most profound way. From characterful but harsh beginnings all the way to the sipping nectar we all know and love.

At the distillery we get to try anCnoc at various stages of the maturation process – casks are not going to oversee themselves, you see. And sampling our spirit year after year is a wonderful experience that really helps to understand where anCnoc 12 Year Old's cherished character comes from. Today we'd like to share a glimpse of this insight, notes from tasting our spirit at zero, three, seven and twelve years in American oak casks.

New make spirit

It's fragrant and fruity, almost perfumed. There is abundance of lightness and crisp citrus balanced with a heavier, waxy note. Overall it's sharp and needs to be poured into a cask.

3 years in the cask

Lemon-juice-like colour. On its third birthday this young now-whisky has mellowed down but retained the freshness of the new make spirit. It's still sharp and a bit rough around the edges but there is now a sweet vanilla note in the background, a complexity is emerging and the wood has certainly had a great deal of impact on this spirit.

7 years in the cask

Bright yellow in colour. We're certainly getting there. Vanilla is much richer, the fruits become juicy and ripe and are joined by spices. The signature honey note emerges. The spirit is also getting smooth, this is now a very drinkable whisky.

12 years in the cask

Polished gold in colour. The heavy note from the new make spirit has transformed into an intense honey fragrance, balanced by clean citrus fruit and a big creamy vanilla profile. Both the intensity and the complexity of the nose are superb and the mouthfeel is now silky smooth. Simply delicious. This whisky is now ready to be delivered to you.

more from the blog