Next in our The Whisky Exchange Single Cask Strength evening was another Island whisky – this time from Arran distillery on the isle of Arran. This isn’t my 1st Arran sample and I’ve quite enjoyed what I’ve tried so far…. particularly both cask finishes – Amarone & Port.
This particular bottle was personally recommended by TWE’s owner Sukhinder Singh for the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai as an affordable whisky that is an excellent example of Arran’s style.
Arran 14 year (16 Dec 2000/7 Aug 2015) Barrel 2000/1106 Bottle 185 of 197 55.5% (TWE)
What did the ladies think?
- Nose – We immediately noticed it has more “oomph!” than the Glen Moray, toasty, almost musty initially, then warm maple syrup, rum raisins, shifting into something pungent, an earthy yeasty quality, like wet fall leaves, some cinnamon and cloves, resin…
- Palate – Wow! Cinnamon spice – both paprika and black pepper. There was no doubt this was a full on cask strength whisky.
- Finish – Honey sweet, bourbon, spice, a bit unbalanced initially
There was initially a mixed reaction. Many of have had quite positive experiences with Arran so had high expectations which were not initially met.
But then as we discussed and debated, a funny thing happened. That whisky sitting in our glasses with a little patience began to open up. Making the doubters into converts who warmed up to the whisky as it warmed up to us, revealing apricots, chocolate, apple sauce, and an almost minty freshness.
Some added water whereas some did not. Which was a better option came down to personal preference with more leaning to without.
Bottom line is give this one time and it will reward you with a beautiful, fruity, balanced dram that is both rich, robust and complex. Well worth being just a bit patient.
The bottle provides succinct tasting notes of:
This single-bourbon-cask Arran whisky selected by The Whisky Exchange is loaded with aromas of pear drops, apple crumble and ripe peaches. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with brioche buns, a touch of lemon zest and manuka honey.
Rocky from the Whisky Exchange has this to say:
- Nose: Complex nose with notes of spicy vanilla and cinnamon, coconut, honey and tropical mango and guava.
- Palate: Warming and spicy at first with clove and black pepper prominent. Then the sweetness and the fruit start to come to the fore: honey, mango, pineapple and apricot.
- Finish: Lightly sweet with honey and tropical fruit overtaken again by the spice.
- Comment: Arran’s history began by bottling lots of single casks, and this is another example of a great one from the distillery. Classic Arran fruitiness, but with lots of spice – a complex and rewarding whisky.
This whisky was purchased at The Whisky Exchange in London in June 2017, under the owner Sukhinder Singh’s guidance for GBP 65. It was opened from a fresh bottle in July 2018.
What else did we sample in our Sukhinder Singh’s cask strength evening?
- Glen Moray 8 year 251 Bottles 57.8% (SMSW)
- Ledaig 12 year (5 Feb 2004/29 Aug 2016) Cask 1030, 327 Bottles 58.1% (SMSW)
- Arran Port Cask 50% & Arran Amarone Cask 50%
- Ledaig 16 year (1997/2013) 46% (G&MP)
- Glen Moray 21 year (1991/2013) Cask No 9980 46% (Douglas)
- Whisky Ladies Cask Strength Diwali – Glenfarclas 105 60%, Chichibu 2009 63.1%, A’bunadh 35 60.3%
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