A (in absolute terms) very old Arran in refill sherry – loads of colour – from the wonderful Whisky Broker. Yes, you should buy this.
Refill sherry hogshead 551, distilled 17th June 1996, bottled 28th August 2014.
Nose – Balanced. If Arran released this officially it’d sell out in hours. Flawless sherry – dusty raisins, very sweet, rich and dark, and balanced by great wood and mature cereal. Cocoa nibs, a little engine block and very stern oak. Quite an SMWS nose actually – intensely single cask. With water, less stern and more cherry and strawberry sweetness. Almost like a port finish. Just lovely.
Body – Fruit and nut, loads of chocolate, a little spice, lots of drying oak and a touch of sulphur. More cocoa nibs. With water, really creamy and even richer.
Finish – Long, intense, spicy, perfectly pitched. Lovely spirit sulphur, quite tacky in the end. Intensely sweet but balanced.
What’s not good about it – A little stern on the nose, when neat? I’ve no problem with that.
What’s good about it – So much balance and intensity. Perfectly pitched as an 18 year old sherry bomb, loads of fruit, character and structure, and the usual great value for money too. Buy now!