A WHISKEY CONVERT

I'm not much of a whiskey drinker, so what am I doing reviewing a new Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, when terms like 'single malt' and 'scotch' are lost on me? Similar to when I was younger and tried my first olive, within a few minutes I wanted another, and another until the tub was full of sucked dry pips. I'm hoping I'll look back on this moment and say it was the AnCnoc limited edition whiskey that turned me into a sophisticated whiskey drinking gent. 

I took the above photos at about 8pm on a weekday night when I had nothing planned and could sit down on the sofa to enjoy the whiskey at my leisure. All I needed was a rustic log fire and things would have been prefect. I tried the anCnoc whiskey with a splash of water and two ice cubes and during my first anticipated sip I was met with a serious number of flavours I have never come across when drinking whiskey. For my palette it was hard to pick what the flavours were, but it was sweet yet bitter and fruity - bloody nice I might add.

When buying alcohol, yes it is about taste of the product, personal taste but also some customers (myself included) look at the design of the bottle. Does it stand out from the others? What can I do with that bottle after I have drunk it all? So it doesn't surprise me that anCnoc have collaborated with fashion designer Patrick Grant who is the creative director of Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons and a judge on BBC2 show The Great Sewing Bee. Blas, translated as 'taste' in Gaelic, is presented in a specifically designed bottle by Edinburgh-born Patrick Grant. Patrick spent over a year designing the bespoke print, which is inspired by the brand, flavour notes of the limited edition liquid, and the time-honoured production methods used at the Knockdhu distillery.

ABOUT THIS WHISKEY (BY THE EXPERTS)

In appearance, Blas is golden and honeyed. On the nose it is densely sweet and fruity with notes of lemon and candied orange peel. Tone of bitter chocolate and vanilla add complexity and weight. To taste, Blas is full bodied and oily, leaving a lasting impression. This limited edition has been matured in American oak barrels and Spanish oak butts. Chosen at its optimum level of maturation by their blender, Mark Williamson, it has been bottled at 54% and in its most natural state, neither chill filtered nor coloured.

I spent a lot of time at Knockdhu not only taking in the landscape and surrounding areas, but getting to know the people that work there and the methods that they use. Everything in the print is from the hill, the village of Knock or within the distillery itself and tells the story of the making of Blas. I’ve tried to interpret anCnoc’s history and tradition in a modern way, and hope this is translated through the aestetic of the bottle.
— Patrick Grant

The Patrick Grant Limited Edition, Blas, retails at £50 for 70cl and is available from independents and specialist retailers throughout the UK.