2015 was a packed year for Arran with a lot of releases and the last one, released last October, is Arran ‘The Bothy’ which is a homage to the use of small casks used for whisky back in the 18th & 19th centuries.
Arran ‘The Bothy’ is initially matured in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels which should impart some good and juicy fruit notes and then finished in quarter casks (for spiciness and vanilla notes) for a period of over 18 months.
12,000 bottles were made and it was bottled at cask strength of 55.7%
Nose: Starts with a pleasant fruity, sweet and cream nose. A lot of pears and a dash of apricots. There are also hints of wood spices and pepper . Also showing up: honey and green oak barks. With additional time in the glass it gets more malty with barley and cereals, additional youth notes and vanilla.
Palate: A lot of young spirit notes, malt and cereal (almost lactic), creamy, a lot of spice: peppers mix, oak spices, vanilla and generally not so fruity.
Finish: Oak wood spices, traces of vanilla and lingering weak fruit.
Thoughts: Rock solid whisky although I prefer my Arrans a bit more matured with less of those youth and malt notes and more complexity and fruitiness that develops from additional time in the casks. But it’s a nice session dram to drink and share with friends.