Years ago this Port finish was my first introduction to Arran, courtesy of purchase by an actuarial friend (on condition I could reimburse!) who was in Edinburgh. I recently came across the faded receipt for £45 from Stirling Whisky Shop, near Stirling Castle… It meant so much more given I’ve now both been to that very shop and the distillery!
Today in 2022, it no longer is part of their core range… Which is a pity. While it may not be for everyone, I remembered the Port Cask Finish as a rich intense whisky that stands proud at 50% yet also works with a dash of water.
So what did we think?
Arran Port Cask Finish 50%
- Nose – Heavy and intense – prunes, dark rich wood, then shifted to be intensely floral, rose, vanilla, then deep forest, even some slightly sour black cherries
- Palate – Full-bodied, tobacco, a nice spice – think more of garam masala than sweet spices alone
- Finish – Dry, very long, with more of that light spice
- Water – Just a dash opens it up nicely – after the extra kick of spice subsides, it makes this more approachable, dry to ripe fruits, yet still nicely robust
This whisky was full of dark heavy elements – from the dark fruit aromas to the tobacco… there is something that makes you ‘picker up’ with this one. It also paired rather well with a Cigar,
I’ve revisited this one a couple times – it’s more intense and flavourful than I prefer for a “daily dram”.
What do the folks at Arran have to say?
A fantastic choice at any time, particularly as an after dinner dram, especially with a delicious cheese selection.
After initially maturing in traditional oak casks for approximately 8 years, The Arran Single Malt in this bottling was finished in a selection of Port casks sourced from an artisan producer of this iconic Portuguese fortified wine.
The maturation process was monitored under the watchful eye of our Master Distiller, to ensure that the Port casks and the intrinsic character of The Arran Single Malt partnered with each other perfectly. The end result is a combination that’s full of charm and rich flavour, and a wonderful way to discover more about the Arran range of Single Malts.
Official distillery tasting notes:
- Nose – Cinnamon, baked apples
- Palate – Vanilla spice, ripe citrus & dried fruits and nuttiness. With a splash of water more depth of mandarin citrus with fudge and honeyed notes.
- Finish – Spice, Bitter orange, Chocolate, Cherries.
We chose to try this Port together with three other Arran whiskies:
Whilst all from this finishes series are no age statements, there was no doubt that they are well-thought-out expressions that are worthy of attention.
So far, we’ve already tried the Arran Port Cask Finish 50% together with:
- Arran 14 year 46%
- Arran 14 year (2000/2015) Barrel 2000/155.5% (TWE)
- Arran 18 year 46%
- Arran 23 year (29 May 1996/11 Mar 2020) Sherry Hogshead Cask No 436, 52.6% Bottle 245/283
- Arran Amarone Cask Finish 50%
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