Rutter, Flaughter and Tashkar (traditional peat cutting tools), all are NAS (distilled between 2004 and 2006, so about 10 years old) and differentiated by their peat levels in PPM. All at 46%, natural colour and NCF.
The collector in me was immediately moved to experience and catalogue all three. In summary, these have the deep, fruity, orchard sweetness we know and love from anCnoc, but with different cask finishes and levels of phenols. It works, but I don’t think it challenges anCnoc’s traditional presentations.
Nose - Light, apple skin and fresh peat. Some juicy cherry, sweet lemon ice cream. A dusty primary school corridor (black, 50s lino). A meaty, musky note - bacon pork shanks. An old, wooden medicine box washed up on the beach. There’s definitely an oceanic quality to it, a bit washed up by the seaside, slightly rotten. I’m not sure this works, quite. After a while - and a sip - the maritime notes draw back a little and reveal some malty, lemony boiled sweets.
Palate - Balanced, fresh, lovely sweet peat and chocolate pears. Some barley but really characterful, and now I’m finally getting the pineapple.
Finish - Quite long, some pepper notes in there, lovely balance. A refreshing, interesting dram.
What's not good about it: The off edge in the nose is a little weird. While I could session this all night long, I don’t think the nose really works. Takes some digging and some retronasal action to get the tropical fruit which was quite light for me overall.
What’s good about it: The delivery is very good - toothsome, moreish, refreshing and rather tasty. I do so love the peat/sweet thing and this is a real summery confection.
Nose - More cidery, more apple juice. Much more pronounced boiled sweets and pineapple kubes, but significantly more elegant. That meaty note is far less jarring. This is a better balanced dram, I can’t detect more phenols though. Smells less if anything. But on the second wave there’s suddenly massive amounts - of steak and kidney pudding?
Palate - Getting the phenols in the delivery, more boiled sweets, but very drying. Lots of mid-range, rather lovely.
Finish - Long, peppery again, loads of liquorice, balanced and very tannic. Long, faultless finish.
What's not good about it: Still getting that hammy note on the nose but without the summery delivery its perhaps not quite as much fun.
What’s good about it: Very well presented, fruity, rich and lightly peated. Very pleasant and on first inspection, better presented than the Rutter. But on reflection I prefer the summery freshness of Rutter to the Steak and Kidney of Flaughter.
anCnoc Tushkar, 15ppm, 46% A-
This one’s only available in Sweden, oddly.
Body - Drying sulphur and phenols, ripe and rich. More rich sweets but with an Asian back of palate development that doesn’t sit right.
Finish - Long and toasted, with an off, bitter finish that really hurts the overall experience. It’s a shame, although equally not so much a shame, because I can’t buy this one.
What's not good about it: Awkward landing, quite a disappointment given the introduction. With water this becomes significantly worse, very bitter indeed. Do not add water.
What’s good about it: Complex, interesting and seriously waxy, complex nose. The immediate arrival is rather good.