Another cracker from the Whisky Wire, this time on Arran, one of my favourite distilleries. Loads of character, interesting and beautifully made whiskies, lots of variety, single casks, different finishes. What’s not to like?
Arran 10 year old, 46% A-
First released 2006, 80% bourbon cask, 20% sherry
Nose – Gently sweet, pear, fresh floor wax, opal fruits. Getting cereal notes, wheat. Fruit is delightful if a little lacking in intensity, sweetness moves into toffee.
Body – Sweet, rich malt, more toffee, quite spicy, chilli bitterness.
Finish – Medium long, loads of sweetness, bitter back-note, becomes more spicy. The wood is a little off balance and this bitterness takes over eventually.
What’s not good about it: Bitterness, lost balance in the finish
What’s good about it: Great, restrained nose & palate
Arran 14 year old, 46% A+
60% bourbon cask, 40% sherry
Nose – Medium, fruity wax. Loads of deep orange polish, neat bubble blowing mixture. Changes/swings to more coastal and back to the oranges.
Body – Immediate Arran pepper and spice, loads of oak, grapefruit and getting some orchard fruit too. Bit of malt then…
Finish – Fizzing citrus and wood, sechuan peppercorns linger, malt toffee right at the end.
What’s not good about it: Slight bitterness again, but well integrated
What’s good about it: Lovely, spicy sherry, beautiful nose. Great value for money for such high quality whisky making and result.
Arran 12 year old cask strength, 53.9% A+
100% sherry cask
Nose – Spicy, wood, some fresh fence panel, chocolate, kiwi fruit, fountain pen ink. A little harsh compared with the previous fruit extravaganza – getting bananas and finally the wax.
Body – Deep toffee, nuts, loads of malt, very sweet and smooth, ripe, delicious. Raisins, pears, fabulous.
Finish – Quite short, perfectly smooth and balanced.
What’s not good about it: Nose is a bit hard, not as fruity or floral as the others
What’s good about it: Stunning palate, incredibly smooth and voluptuous. This may be the first whisky I’ve tried where the nose has been outclassed by the body.
Arran Millennium Casks, 53.6% A⊕
Nose – Beautiful sherry nose, chocolate, raisin, wax, roses, honeysuckle, lychees. Very floral, extreme balance of wax and fruit. Stunning nose. The first whisky I’ve tried with rose on the nose.
Body – Rich, malty, balanced. Stewed apples, spicy Arran signature and well balanced.
Finish – Long, malted, fizzing edge, quite tannic, good structure. A little low on the fruit for my taste but its correctly balanced so I won’t hold that against it. Water brings more sweetness.
What’s not good about it: Body doesn’t quite live up to the blockbuster nose
What’s good about it: Incredible nose (I must try blending this with the cask strength!), total balance, beautiful whisky.