Otherwise known as the evening that proved sometimes the cheapest dram is the best!
The same evening I finally opened a much anticipated but somewhat disappointing Glenburgie 8 year, I also brought out a few Arran bottles…
Whilst there was nothing intrinsically WRONG with the Amarone, it didn’t live up to an earlier edition which was absolutely entrancing! Whereas the Port cask finish held its own. That shared, the real star of the evening was the Barrel Reserve!
Arran Barrel Reserve 43% (EUR 28)
- Colour – Bright gold
- Nose – Happy fruits – starts with apple sauce, then shifts into a fragrant apple orchard on a warm summer’s day! Chased by light floral apple or cherry blossoms, then vanilla and a hint of brown sugar spice shifting into salted caramel, candied apple
- Palate – More substance than the nose alone would indicate, now we have apple crisp, spice and a bit of wood, some salted peanuts
- Finish – Carries through, lightly bitter but in a good way, more of that vanilla and even a bit of toasty salted peanuts mixed with the light zing at the close….
This is simply one very enjoyable dram! No fuss, no muss, just easy-drinking pleasure. It is exactly as described by the folks at Arran – fresh, light, and elegant. And above all, an excellent reminder that one doesn’t always have to spend a crazy amount of money to buy a decent drink!
I’ve returned to this as a ‘daily dram’ (though naturally, I don’t actually drink daily!), meaning the favoured “go to” whisky. It consistently rewards and I must admit, I may just order another bottle while it can be found at these prices! Bravo Arran for a solid whisky that just hits the spot!
What do the folks at Arran have to say?
Bottled at 43%, the Barrel Reserve emphasizes the delicious, sweet fruit notes which are the hallmark of our distillery. A fantastic discovery!
The brand new Barrel Reserve is a fresh, light and elegant no-age-statement Single Malt Single Barrel Scotch Whisky. It is 100% matured in Bourbon Barrels and is going to become your go-to dram for every occasion – to be served neat, with ice or in a longer drink or cocktail.
- Nose – Delicate apples and pears
- Palate – Beautifully balanced citrus fruit and light vanilla sweetness with a burst of apple and delicate marine notes.
- Finish – Sweetness, Spice, Charred Oak, Citrus, Vanilla
Early 2020, we came together to enjoy an Arran Vertical – 14 year 46%, 18 year 46%, 23 year (1996/2020) Sherry Hogshead Cask No 436, 52.6%.
A year later, we explored the Arran Cask Finishes with Sauternes 50%, Amarone 50%, Port 50%, “The Bodega” Sherry Cask 55.8%.
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