Cnoc cnoc. Who’s there?

Yeah I’m sorry for that tittle, let’s gain my forgiveness by reviewing those two An Cnoc bottlings, that 1975 one really puzzles me!

An Cnoc 18yo “2020 release” (46%, OB, Bourbon & Sherry Casks)

Colour: Gold with coppery hues.
Nose: Solvants, glue, honey, vanilla, bitter cocoa and hints of citruses freshness.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is quite good. I can guess the dilution in the texture but it’s not very noticeable so that’s a good point. Honey, sea salt, white pepper, black pepper, ripe fruits, bitter cocoa, bitter chocolate, pine wood freshness and hints of waxy notes.
Finish: Mid-Long. It’s fresh with a lot of pine wood and some citruses. spices, white pepper and orange peel.

That’s a pretty good daily dram. There is no real complexity but it does the trick, it’s pretty easy and enjoyable to drink with a good profile.

Score: 87

An Cnoc 39yo 1975-2014 (44.2%, OB, American Oak & Spanish Oak Ex-Sherry Casks, 1590 bottles)

Colour: Deep copper with mahogany hues.
Nose: It becomes slowly very powerful. It’s round. noble wood, sea salt, chesnut, leather, dusty books, sweet dark chocolate, spices, cinamon and freshly cut mushrooms.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect and the texture is very thick. It starts with sweet dark chocolate, it’s round with delicate honey notes. Then it starts to be more floral with powerful heather honey notes. Then those fades a bit and we go on a more classic sherry profile with leather, chesnut and candied orange zest. Finaly, the bitterness of the wood arrives and I honestly feared it will kill the dram because it was slowly growing but it stopped just at the perfect moment giving us a perfect balance between this wood bitterness, mineral notes, coffee notes and pine wood powerful freshness.
Finish: Long. Round at first but it changes quickly to a more bitter profile with wood notes and coffee beans notes and there is some lingering pine wood freshness adding a very pleasant feeling tho this experience. The end of the mouth is a bit austere and fresh, that’s very good.

Wow! What a good old school dram. I had some fear about the woody notes eventually overwheling the profile but in fact it’s a perfectly balanced and integrated old dram that we have here. A stunner for sure!

Score: 91

Here we are, two very nice drams. On one hand the young one was good in all modesty, a pleasant daily dram if you are not looking for a lot of complexity. On the other hand the old 1975 dram was filled of complexity layers and full of integration which leaded to a very enjoyable mix!

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