It began primarily as a combination of travel retail acquisitions however culminated in a fabulous day trip to Isle of Arran in September 2020… amusingly these Arran’s were paid with four currencies from four countries, collected over three years with the intention of sharing with a whisky group in Mumbai.
Unbelievably I’m back in India! Even more remarkable, I finally have a chance to share these bottles from Isle of Arran with friends. Naturally this will be done responsibly, virtually and all that… we do live in COVID times after all!
I decided to break the Arran exploration into two parts….
A vertical – doing a straightforward age progression…
- Arran 14 year 46% – A balance of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry finish, likely from 2016, purchased early 2018 from Mumbai Duty-Free for Rs 7,200 (approx EUR 80)
- Arran 18 year 46% – A mix of sherry casks, picked up by a kind ‘whisky mule’ during his travels in October 2017 for USD 81 (approx EUR 67)
- Arran 23 year (1996/2020) Sherry Hogshead Cask No 436, 52.6% – A single cask sherry which produced a mere 283 bottles, bottled at cask strength that I purchased in September 2020 directly from the Lochranza Distillery for GBP 145 (approx EUR 160)
I then kept in reserve for another time the additional expressions with no age statements…
- Arran Lochranza Reserve 43% – A mix of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, purchase late 2018 from Dubai’s Le Clos for AED 150 (approx EUR 34)
- Arran Port Cask Finish 50% – As the name suggests, finished in a port cask, purchased in early 2019 from Dubai’s Le Clos for AED 180 (approx EUR 40)
The tricky choice was what to do with a small bottle hand filled from the new Lagg Distillery? Keep it back for the NAS expressions or throw a mini of a mini into the mix to give others a chance to try something unique? In the end, not having enough extra mini bottles clinched it – so it has again been stored to wait for another time.
- Arran Peated (2020) 60.4% – 1st batch from a peated bourbon barrel, bottled by hand on 3 September 2020 at Lagg Distillery, purchased for GBP 30 for a 200 ml bottle (approx EUR 100 for a 700ml)
And with that, the decision was made, minis filled, packages dispatched, the balance remaining in bottles sent to one of our Whisky Ladies who offered to host a few able to join in person – socially distanced – in her large living room. How lovely!
Notes to come – both here and on the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai‘s blog!
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