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%.
Arran 12 Year Old – Master of Distilling II (51.8%, £65.00/€64.99)
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. Continue reading
This week we’ll cover a trio of (relatively) recently released Arran whiskies. The first one we’ll cover is a member of the revamped line up Arran launched late 2019 – Arran Sherry Cask which is a cask strength with no age statement whisky – Another addition to the jammed collection of young Sherry bombs on the shelves.
Arran Sherry Cask The Bodega (55.8%, £53.95/€42.50)
Nose: Dates, raisins, the mineral-y side of Arran shows up in force. toffee, raspberry filled milk chocolate, almonds croissant, marzipan and hazelnuts.
Palate: Far sweeter and fruitier with red berries and blueberry, mandarins, ginger, minerals and rock dust, chocolate and it’s all quite drying. With a few drops of water it becomes a bit woody and there’s espresso, bitter cinnamon, dark chocolate and less fruitiness.
Finish: Medium long length, lingering sweet berries, drying minerality, white pepper and oak spice.
Thoughts: I quite love it. The fresh fruitiness offers a different look at the genre and the minerality adds a lovely depth and it offers a refreshing and different flavors profile comparing to other CS NAS sherried offerings.
Almost 3 years I reviewed the first batch of Arran ‘The Bothy’ which is Arran’s offering of a young yet fast matured cask strength whisky to the masses. It’s matured 1st Fill American Oak Ex-Bourbon Barrels before a legnthy finish in small (Quarter size) casks.
This third batch was bottled a year ago in September 2017 at 53.2%. 13,800 bottles were circulated from this batch and some are still available although the majority of the Arran ‘The Bothy’ bottles in the markets are from the 4th batch.
Arran ‘The Bothy’ Quarter Cask Batch #3 (53.2%, £46/€44.95)
Nose: Somewhat muted at first so lets give it a few minutes to open up. Then we have pears, apricot and honey sweetness. Slowly rocks dust note comes up, baked pears, cake dough and vanilla, After a while it gets fruiter and sweeter. Continue reading
Arran whisky lovers – rejoice!
The Arran Banner weekly newspaper revealed this weekend (12 March 2016) that a new distillery site is set to be built in south Arran by Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd.
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%
Arran The Bothy Batch 1 (55.7%, £54.45/€59,99)
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. Continue reading
Following the sad and tragic events this weekend I thought of reviewing some good whisky to boost my mood. The choice fell on a bit sweet whisky to fight the sour and bitter taste in my mouth – a 14 year old single cask Arran, that was bottled for The Whisky Exchange.
Arran 2000 Private Cask #1106 (55.5%, 197 bottles ,£70.95)
Nose: Quite a bold and aggressive nose, chalky, fruity, vanilla and honey, pears, peaches, pear drops, dark and deep hue fruit juice, whiffs of pineapple. Concentrated red apples juice, soursweet candies. A very rich and fabulous nose. My money here is on a 1st fill cask. Continue reading
My previous experience with Arran whisky isn’t extensive – I did taste a few Arran whiskies in stores and even SMWS one (which I blogged here and I have heard lots of good things on other indie bottlings) and the quality is very good and improving with time, so when Arran 17 yo went on sale, I picked it and hoped it will be as good as expected.
Bear in mind that Arran distillery is young. It only celebrated 19 year old 1-2 months ago and as such it has a long way to go, catch our eyes and build up their reputation. so every release is important on this road. Continue reading