Sunday, 26 May 2013

.anCnoc - Peter Arkle - Bricks

As happens so very often, my wife had the luminous idea to join in a twitter tasting organised by @alembic_tweets, for anCnoc whisky's new Peter Arkle - Bricks expression.

Since we are trying to join more and more of these tastings lately, it should not have proven problem joining this tasting together with some other lucky few that were selected to join in. In this case we could do our tastings at any given time on Saturday the 25th or Sunday the 26th of May 2013, exactly when we had planned to be on Islay, during Feis Ile 2013.

Luck was on our side though: Lukasz from Alembic was a great sport posting the package on time, so we received our little bottle perfectly on time for us to pack with the luggage and bring it back to Scotland to taste it while on Islay.

.the reference
At the evening of arriving on Islay, we created ourselves a nice little place outside in the basking sun (well, for Islay standards it was basking) and started to indulge our palate with the standard bottling of the anCnoc 12yo, we were the Mrs. was clever enough to bring with us too. 

We have not had the honor to taste the other two expressions, and given the circumstances at the time of our tasting, we did not have anything else to compare the bricks to other then the 12yo.

40% abv, €30, single malt

Whiffs of dry white wine meet you on the nose, accompanied by fresh fruits, thinking of apples, pears, some citrus fruits and lots of sweet vanilla. The dry continues on the palate, continuing the sweet vanilla, apples, pears and citrus notes, again with more then enough vanilla. She finishes dry, with citrus fresh, slightly bitter and metallic afterthoughts. 
Not quite bad. She could be categorised as a feminin whisky, possible would score a little better with a higher abv.

.peter arkle
After we were done with the 12, the sun was setting, taking the bits of warmth it gave us away with it, so inside we went continuing the tasting of the anCnoc - Peter Arkle - Bricks inside.

Peter Arkle is a New York based graphic artist, whose drawings remind me a little of Andy Warhol's work. He has done some artwork and labels for anCnoc whisky in the past, where this label is the third in the series that carries his name, and is inspired by and linked to something at the distillery.
This whisky has matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and ex-Sherry butts. A maximum of 1000 cases (making 12.000 bottles) will be available.

46%, €60, single malt, non chill-filtered, natural colour

On the nose she is a bit medicinal at first, with hints of leather and burned matches. After she has settled in the glass, the nose adds sweet vanilla notes, fruits, with juicy red apples, stewed pears and some raisins, and herbal tones of nutmeg and cinnamon. On the palate she gives me some unpleasant sour notes, like unripe hard green apples and similar yellow pears, lots of vanilla and a metallic taste accompanied by a white pepper spiciness. She finishes rather artificial and metallic, bringing the leather and burned matches back, together with the same, albeit now overripe fruits.
Overall, the nose brings out the best characteristics in this whisky, but the palate and finish throw her around to some very eccentric corners in the flavour field, and I am just not a big fan of that. 

Compared to the 12, there are clear similarities in the fruits on the nose, the omnipresent vanilla in the taste, and the - sadly - somewhat metallic finish. I am not sure if the Bricks is a marriage of the ex-Bourbon matured 12 and some younger ex-Sherry butts, or that this No Age Statement whisky is the result of a complete maturation in ex-Bourbon barrels, with a finish of several months in ex-Sherry butts.
With my limited knowledge and experience, I'd put my money on the latter.

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