There we were – one hot sweaty April evening in Mumbai – about to kick off a tasting with a random yet remarkable range of whiskies. Just like with fine dining, it helps to have an “amuse-bouche” to whet the appetite, so we needed a whisky to ease into our evening.
I considered a few options before settling on the Arran no age statement – Lochranza Reserve. Launched in 2014, it was intended to be part of the core range as the ‘entry’ dram replacing the Arran Original, easily accessible – in terms of flavour profile, price, and availability in travel retail. Today in 2022? It has joined the Limited Edition section with just a few bottles remaining… though if purchased in the UK it is still quite reasonable – at a mere £25.
So what did we think?
Arran Lochranza Reserve 43%
- Nose – Hmmm… after a slightly musty start, becomes a clean, classic whisky with green apples, dry leaves and toasted oats, dry desiccated coconut, citrus, a hint of honey… also a herbal element – rosemary or thyme? Or a touch of cardamon?
- Palate – A light spice, slightly salty and initially a bit astringent, it then shifted into more of that citrus joined by crunchy tart green apples, oak, and a dash of cream, nicely coats your tongue
- Finish – Pink peppercorns, slightly bitter, chased by bourbon vanilla
- Water – One would think with such a low ABV there is no need… however a splash of cool water brings out the orchard fruits and citrus after the initial spice hit settles down
Whilst the nose had a honey sweetness on the palate it deepened into a creamy caramel toffee and milk chocolate, smooth and straightforward. We weren’t expecting anything complex, however, I will admit that I had anticipated something a bit lighter. Even still, this hit the spot as a teaser of tastings to come!
What do the folks at Arran have to say about their Lochranza Reserve?
Our Lochranza Reserve is back for a short time only as the very last bottles of this edition.
This light, fresh and fruity Single Malt is bottled at 43% and is delicious on its own, with a splash of water or a bit of ice. It is the perfect Single Malt for mixing and is a marriage of both Sherry and Bourbon matured casks.
Official distillery tasting notes:
- Nose – Vanilla and lemon
- Palate – Fresh Island notes. A touch of salt and sweetness
- Finish – Citrus. Vanilla. Salty.
What else have we tried from Arran? Rather a lot as this distillery has become a clear favourite with a few of us:
- Arran 14 year 46%, Revisit (2021)
- Arran 14 year (2000/2015) Barrel 2000/1106 Bottle 185/197 55.5% (TWE)
- Arran 18 year 46%
- Arran 23 year (1996/2020) Sherry Hogshead Cask No 436, 52.6%
- Arran 25 year
- Arran Amarone Cask Finish 50%, Revisit (2022)
- Arran Port Cask Finish 50%, Revisit (2022)
- Arran Quarter Cask The Bothy 56.2%
- Arran Sauternes Finish 50%
- Arran The Bodega Sherry Cask 55.8%
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