After reviewing Arran Sherry Cask which is a core range offering, we move on to a limited edition expression – Arran Master of Distilling 2 which is a 12 year old whisky finished in Palo Cortado sherry casks picked by James MacTaggart, Arran’s Master Distiller, in Spain.
James MacTaggart has over 40 years’ experience in whisky production. In 2017 we had Arran 10 Year Old (Master of Distilling I) to celebrate a decade since he joined Arran in 2007 and now we have this second edition (released in 2019) to celebrate a dozen years.
12,000 bottles were produced, each bottled at 51.8%.
Nose: Sweet, honeyed fruit, minerality, nutty with nutmeg and hazelnut – love that effect of Palo Cortado casks), limestone and green grape peels. After a few minutes there’s a floral side to the nose with white roses petals and citrus blossoms and eventually also getting tropical fruitiness. Very rich, enticing and balanced Palo Cortado influence.
Palate: Sweet fruitiness, peaches, pears and grapes, again the Palo Cortado is felt with strong nuttiness led by nutmeg, Arran minerality, limestone and white pepper, drying.
Finish: Medium length, drying, grapefruit bitterness, green grapes, mineral-y.
Thoughts: I really really liked it. I’m very fond of Palo Cortado casks (I totally loved Deanston and Bunna finished in Palo Cortado casks) and the casks here do an amazing job here adding Fino like notes on the nose and adding nuttiness on the Palate – all while retaining the Arran minerality. An very good whisky and very recommended if you can fetch a bottle.