Knockdhu distillery has been working hard to develop a real peated range in the last couple of years. They have now launched anCnoc Peatheart, their peatiest expression so far, which contains about 40 ppm phenols (roughly in between Highland Park and Ardbeg, to give you an idea).
Note that for this expression they measured the phenol content of the malted barley (to be in line with the rest of the industry) while for previous peated anCnoc expressions they mentioned the phenols in the mature whisky.
It was matured in ex-bourbon barrels for more than a decade. anCnoc Peatheart will be the first permanent peated expression in the core range.
(46%, OB 2017, Batch #1)
Nose: starts with some Ardbeg-style smoke, though not medicinal. Earthy with an underlying (youngish) sweetness. Apples, pineapple, hints of cotton candy. Cookie dough. Gets more heady after a while, with lemon peel and orange blossom. Hints of tobacco and tar in the background.
Mouth: quite oily, with warm peat smoke alongside sweet lemon, apples and hints of toffee. Vanilla cake before it turns to drier, leathery notes, liquorice and traces of chocolate.
Finish: medium long, clean, on lemons and slightly floral peat smoke.
Simply a decent peated expression, though young. It doesn’t have the medicinal Islay power but keeps it clean and fresh with nicely sweet and floral notes. The most complex of the peated anCnocs so far, and like most of the anCnoc whiskies: no-nonsense and simply well made. Around € 60 from Master of Malt or TWE for instance.