My London Whisky Show tasting companion and I are both fans of Arran whiskies. The Lochranza distillery’s un-peated “Arran” style – both their core range and limited editions!
However whilst I’ve known of their peated “Machrie Moor” for years, haven’t adequately explored these expressions. Since 2019, Lochranza stopped using peat, choosing instead to dedicate their new Lagg distillery to a peat style. This means Machrie Moor will become a thing of the past. So we skipped over many familiar friends on offer, to try this duo of their standard Machrie Moor and cask strength.
Machrie Moor 46%
- Nose – Peat and sweet, fresh with that special kinda peat that combines smoked meats, crispy bacon, and a drizzle of maple syrup
- Palate – Started spicy, then mellowed out with hints of the underlying fruity character
- Finish – Cinamon and smoke
This may seem surprising, but my impression from a light sniff, swish, and spit was that Machrie Moor was surprisingly mild and modest.
What more do they have to say about this expression?
- Nose – Light smoke and citrus
- Palate – Dried grass, peat smoke and hints of vanilla and tropical fruit.
- Finish – Citrus, Smoke, Peat, Pineapple.
We then moved on to the cask strength expression…
Machrie Moor Cask Strength 56.2%
- Nose – At first fruity then shifted into meaty peat with smoked ham or pastrami
- Palate – A fiery spice! Which initially masked the stewed fruits
Unlike the milder Machrie Moor 46%, this was a powerhouse and initially a bit imbalanced. However, I have a strong suspicion that a dash of water would make all the difference – something that we skipped in our quick zip-through!
What more do they have to say?
- Nose – Citrus notes with a background of peat and a puff of smoke immediately apparent
- Palate – A robust dram with the typical orchard fruits of Arran coming to the fore over a layer of toasted brioche and red berries
- Finish – Citrus, Smoke, Chocolate, Vanilla, Coconut.
Both were interesting to try, however, have to admit, we remain partial to their un-peated expressions. Curious about these other Arran explorations? Just read on…
- Arran Quartet – Sauternes, Amarone, The Bodega Sherry, Port
- Arran 14 year 46% – mini vs bottle
- Arran’s Lochranza Vertical – 14 year 46%, 18 year 46%, 23 year (1996/2020) Sherry Hogshead Cask No 436, 52.6%
If you don’t want to miss a post, why not follow Whisky Lady on: