Arran The Smuggler’s Series Volume 1 – The Illicit Stills

ABV: 56.4 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and slightly peated. At first there’s a vanilla, honey and sweet liquorice mix sitting on top of a mild herbal peat and some fresh red berries. When it settles it becomes maltier and a vanilla fudge note comes through in the center. There’s a squeeze of lemon and a slight dustiness in the background as well as a gritty note, which gives the whole a nice complexity. There’s also a hint of nail polish remover floating around on top. The peatiness resides after a while and becomes more of a floaty top note. This is a great nose with a lot of nice, small things to discover.

Mouth: It starts out with a honey sweetness up front and a quite strong sour lemon in the back. The spicyness is strong at first but once it settles reveals a very funky mix of herbal peat, rubber, dark ripe fruits and leather sitting together with vanilla fudge in the center. There’s also a savory note in the background and a mild bitter black coffee note close by. It feels slightly dusty, complex and interesting but the spicyness interfers with the exploration. It gives it a nice powerful character though.

Finish: The spicyness carries over without any spikes and very generously lets everything through early on. There’s still a nice contrast between sweet and sour as the main feature while the ripe dark notes and the herbal peatiness merges and creates the same complexity found earlier. It’s still dusty and the sweet liquorice note returns at this point. When it starts to fade out the lemon note comes forward together with a newfound oakiness. The oak feels like a mix of old and new. There’s a slightly bitter walnut note which lingers when everything else die down. This is a very good whisky which feels like it’s trying to be everthing at once, which results in a disarray of flavours.

Additional information
This whisky was released in 2015. This is made from both peated and unpeated distillates. It was aged in a mix of ex-bourbon barrels and ex-port pipes for an undisclosed amount of time. 8700 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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