[Review] Knockdhu 9 Year 2010 Cadenhead’s Small Batch

Going back to an old review I did when this bottling hit the Alberta market back in April. It’s interesting to think back on now that Cadenhead’s has decided to replace the Small Batch series with their new “Cadenhead’s Original Collection,” which will all be bottled at 46% ABV, to whether or not this is a negative move or not towards enthusiasts. Personally I like Cadenhead’s releases even below 46% ABV, but we’ll have to wait and see on those. For now, I have plenty of Small Batch series reviews coming out so let’s see how this one does!

I’ve usually not been a huge fan of AnCnoc compared to some of the other Inver House single malt producers. None of their distillery bottlings have ever really wowed me like some exceptional Balblairs or Old Pulteney bottlings have. Heck even the 2nd release of the AnCnoc 35 Year Old felt lackluster to me. Thus, to try and give a seemingly robust style of AnCnoc a shot, I decided to split a younger indie bottling of Knockdhu, AnCnoc’s producing distillery, that was bottled by Cadenhead’s after 9 years in bourbon hogsheads.

This one also seems to be decently reviewed by Whiskyfun’s Serge Valentin, hitting in the mid-80s, so let’s see if it’s a good sub-$100 CAD daily drinker dram.

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Age: 9 Years

Region: Speyside

Cask Type(s): Bourbon Hogsheads

ABV: 56.2%

No. of Bottles: 888

Maturation Time: 2010/2019

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  • Color: Clear to Light Gold
  • Nose: Immediately very spirit-forward and peppery, nice coatings of caramel, green apple, lemon, peach and pineapple juice, allspice, light kosher salt, tea leaves and orange zest
  • Taste: Very light at first, then some building baking spices, pastry bread, cinnamon, pineapple, tangerines, cloves, papaya, ground pepper, green olives, lemon peel and treenuts
  • Finish: Medium to Long with mandarin oranges, creamy fudge, fresh strawberries and soft caramels

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Actually a really solid young Knockdhu! Lots of fruitiness and tropical notes remind me a lot of a younger Fettercairn however this Knockdhu boasts more pastry and peppery notes which make for a fun dram albeit a slight bit harsh at times. Water however quells the harshness and brings out more breadiness into the dram along with a nice oilier mouthfeel. Overall, while it’s a tad flawed its still a really good bourbon cask Speyside and a solid indie bottling from a distillery not I’m not very fond of. Well done once again Cadenhead’s!

83/100

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