It may sound like a bad Mel Gibson film, is there any other kind,  but this new whisky is cause to celebrate.

mcith_Peatheart%20Batch%202%20%281%29.jpanCnoc’s first began making peated whisky back in 2014 with the launch of a new’Peaty’ range, inspired by the whiskies made early in Knockdhu’s history using local peated barley.

Peatheart 2 is the latest. Initially released first in Sweden, for reasons I can’t imagine except perhaps that Sweden is surprisingly full of whisky connoisseurs, was put on general release last month.

Armed with a wee bottle, a miniature sent to us through the post, I spoke to Gordon Bruce the head distiller in the small village  in the shadow of the’Black Hill’ (Knockdhu in Gaelic) near Huntly in Aberdeenshire. The room he was in was refreshingly free of Scottish items, no stag antlers, no stuffed haggis in the trophy cabinet.

He explained the area was perfect for whisky making with lots of fresh spring water and plenty of peat and barley, too. They’ve been making whisky since 1894.

I’m not a great fan of peated whisky in general, it’s like over hopped beer – something for the amateurs to enthuse over.That’s not to say it can’t be done right and tasting the Peatheart 2 I could tell this was the real deal.

‘Look out for a nose of  subtle smokiness with hints of sticky sweet fruits like pineapples, pears and the aroma of fairground toffee apples,’ advised Gordon waving his own glass at the camera.

Those notes came through in the mouth too, the Proustian taste of baked toffee apples very clear. A very grown-up whisky that repays just a tiny drop of water plopped in to break the meniscus and release all the goodness inside,

The distillery was established in 1894 by the pioneering John Morrison, after he spotted an abundance of the natural resources needed to make fine malt whisky in the area: pure spring water and plentiful supplies of peat and barley.

Today, Knockdhu is known as one of the smallest  distilleries in the Scottish Highlands, producing a modern single malt whisky using the most traditional skills and processes.

The Black Hill continues to supply pure water for the whisky making process and the distillery’s two copper pot stills replicate the original 1894 design.

This is definitely a whisky to buy now and pull out at Xmas to enjoy with up to six friends in the garden. Or possibly, if lie carries on its present trajectory, to enjoy on your own on while meeting relatives strictly online.

The way things are going, drink may be the only pleasure we have left the goverment wont ban, so you might as well spend the next decade of lockdown drinking well.

anCnoc Peatheart Batch 2 (40ppm) is bottled in 70cl at 46% ABV, non-chill filtered and with natural colour. 1700 cases of the new batch is npw available in the UK and for global markets, sold in independent and specialist retailers and whisky shops RRP £52.

www.ancnoc.com