Kategoriarkiv: Arran Malt

The Arran Malt 21 YO – The Explorer’s Series Volume 2: Lochranza Castle

ABV: 47,2 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a thick layer of honey and dark fruits. There are raisins and overripe plums, but also a layer of dried apricots. There’s a nice balance between the sweetness and the fruitiness. After a few seconds in the glass there are notes of vanilla starting to come through as well as a maltiness. There’s a complexity to it and fleeting notes of leather and tobacco are found in the background. It feels very three-dimensional. This is a very nice nose with a lot to offer.

Mouth: It starts out with a subdued lemon sourness and a sweet honey top layer. The fruitiness is a lot brighter and the darker fruit notes move into the background. There’s a black coffee note somewhere in between and there’s a dusty leather note in there as well. With time it turns darker and at one point it feels like there’s a creamy coffee liqueuer within. There’s also vanilla, sweet liquorice and just a tiny whiff of smoke.

Finish: It starts out with a layer of the dark sherry notes in the back. It takes a second or two for the front layer to appear but when it does, it reveals the same notes once again with coffee, fruits, leather and, once it settles, a nice oakiness. The oak seems to be in balance, it’s present, but it doesn’t overpower the rest of the finish which makes it a long and very rewarding experience. The oakiness is dusty with a hint of hazelnuts and there’s still a whiff of smoke. This is a fantastic whisky. It’s well balanced and full of flavour.

Additional information
This is the second release in the Explorer series. It’s limited to 9000 bottles worldwide. It has been aged in ex-sherry hogsheads and finished in ex-Amontadillo sherry casks from Bodegas Tradicion. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

Arran Sherry Cask – The Bodega

ABV: 55,8 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark and sweet. At first there’s a thick layer of dark, ripe fruits. There are raisins, overripe plums and dried apricots. It’s very aromatic and there are bakning spices as well as a mild menthol sitting on top of the main flavours. There’s a sweet side to it with brown sugar and vanilla, but the sweetness is mostly coming from the fruits. The background brings a brighter, tropical fruitiness and some apple juice. There’s also a hint of sulfur in the back. This is a sherry bomb and it’s quite fantastic on the nose.

Mouth: It starts out very sweet and dark. Immediatly there’s a black coffee bitterness with the dark fruits close behind. It’s high ABV spicy and it’s quite rich and oily. After a few seconds a dark chocolate note builds up. The tropical fruitiness is not present at this point, but the powerful sherry notes are surpressing most of the other flavours. It’s somewhat astringent and the oakiness is peeking through every once in a while.

Finish: The dark fruits, dark chocolate and black coffee notes start to move towards the edges as soon as the finish starts. This leaves room for vanilla, oak and dried assorted tropical fruits to appear in the center. The sweetness is still sugary with a hint of vanilla. The menthol cloud returns and stays all the way through the finish. The oakiness gains momentum after a few seconds and it’s a dry, slightly nutty oak. This is a fantastic whisky within the sherry bomb category and it’s really well made. Even though it lacks an age statement it doesn’t present itself as young and undermatured.

Additional information
This is part of The Arran Malt’s core range. It’s aged in ex-sherry hogsheads and is presented in natural cask strength. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

The Arran Malt 18 YO

ABV: 46 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and lemon fresh. There’s a very nice and thick layer of vanilla, caramel, honey and sweet liquorice and it’s intertwined with lemons and oranges. A hint of fresh oak comes through from the back together with a sprinkle of sea salt. There’s a white chocolate note appearing after some time in the glass. This is very rich and full bodied.

Mouth: A squeeze of lemon passes by before a black pepper spicyness takes over. It’s not as sweet as on the nose but it’s still very rich. The lemon note comes back together with malt, sweet liquorice and some caramel. It comes off as a bit dry and dusty. The lemon note is now leaning more towards the zest with a bitter tang to it. The oranges are gone. In the background a hint of the oak is coming through together with white chocolate.

Finish: At first, black pepper and lemon is creating a cloud that takes up the entire space. It takes a second or two before the other flavours make themselves known. There are vanilla, honey and caramel notes as well as an oakiness building up. It’s a very nice fresh oakiness with a hint of hazelnuts and a hint of chalk. In the late finish it finally shows some age with a row of dusty old books. This is an extremely well made and very tasty whisky.

Additional information
This is part of The Arran Malt’s core range and it’s aged in both american ex-bourbon barrels and european ex-sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

Arran 10 YO

ABV: 46 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes

Nose: This is sweet and sour. At first there’s a nice and rich honey, malt and vanilla layer up front with sour lemons and oranges underneath. There’s a nice top note of a fresh cooling mint even though the whole thing comes through as dense and slightly dusty. It’s very complex and the background is made up by several notes like charcoal, sour dough bread and a hint of iodine. This is a fantastic nose with a lot of things to discover. It feels very homogenous even though there are a lot of things floating around within.

Mouth: It starts out with a sweet honey and vanilla mix in the center with the citrus fruits residing out on the edges. It’s still malty and textured and the sweet and sour contrast works together and makes it both dense and refreshing at the same time. The complex mix of flavours are still found within. Charcoal, salt and sour dough bread especially. The oakiness starts to make itself known at this point and adds another dimension to the array of flavours.

Finish: The transition seems very logical and everything sort of melts together and after a second or two it creates a lemon and honey cake. It’s got a dessert-like quality to it. It’s still a bit dusty and there’s still a bit of charcoal left behind. The oakiness adds some tropical fruit notes on top as well as a dry, yet fresh, oaky layer in the background. When most of the flavours starts to fade out the oak, the sour lemon and the tropical fruits stay behind. This is a fantastic whisky with an almost perfect balance between contrasting flavours and sensations.

Additional information
This 10 YO is part of the Arran core range. There’s no information to be found about the cask type(s). It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

Arran Amarone Cask Finish

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark and sweet. At first there’s a honey and vanilla sweetness with a dark fruitiness sitting just behind. There’s a mix of sugared blackberries, black grapes and a twist of lemon. On top there’s a cloud of mild menthol. With time in the glass it becomes a bit sweeter with toffee and a hard to pinpoint floral note floating around in the back. It continuously changes but never strays from the main path. This is a great nose with a lot of things to Discover.

Mouth: It starts out with a big hit of honey sweetness and dark berries. It’s very rich and textured from the get-go. There’s also a bitter lemon note as well as a gritty layer in the back with notes of wood, sulfur and rubber. After a while there’s a tropical fruitiness emerging from the back which slowly moves towards the center. There’s a complexity to the whole thing and it feels very three-dimensional. All of the sensations are coming through to a various degree.

Finish: The finish starts out with the red wine dark fruitiness in the back and it sort of grows bigger and bigger in a forward motion. The sweetness ,the menthol and a sprinkle of dusty earth notes come through as well. It takes a few seconds before the gritty notes and the tropical fruitiness once again join in. The bitter lemon is still residing in the back. The oakiness arrives late and never takes over. It just seem to create another layer of complexity. This is a fantastic whisky with an array of complex flavours floating around.

Additional information
This is part of the Arran Wine Cask Finish series. It’s aged for around 8 years in traditional ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in Amarone red wine casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

Arran Port Cask Finish

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there are assorted dark red berries and vanilla along with a thin cooling mint layer on top. Underneath lies a subtle but nice earthy layer of dry soil and herbs. There are also a honey and liquorice sweetness somewhere in between. Both increase in intensity over time and it ends up quite sweet. This is a fantastic nose which feels like it’s gentle but extremely volyminous when it’s allowed to open up in the glass.

Mouth: It starts out with a heavy impact of dark fruits and berries together with honey sweetness. A peppery spicyness accompanies it as well as a quite gritty and roudy background with a mix of very dark and ripe fruits, anise and a hint of sulfur, oil and soil. There’s also a hint of dust and dried fruits floating around. A light and floral note is in the as well. It feels very rich and has a nice texture. The flavour impact is impressive.

Finish: It starts out peppery with an even mix of sweetness, dark fruits and the earthy and dirty notes. The impact is immediate. It’s not as sweet as before but there’s now room for additional dried fruits like raisins and nectarines. A hint of lemon peeks through as well. Everything seem intertwined with the dark ripe berries to create a very nice whole. The oak makes a nice entrance from back to front and it’s a very potent oakiness with walnuts, mild coffee and even a sort of savory note on the tail end. This is just a fantastic whisky.

Additional information
This is part of the Arran’s range of wine finishes. It’s aged in refill casks for 8 years then finished in ex-port pipes. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

The Arran Malt 12 YO – Master of Distilling II The Man With The Golden Glass

ABV: 51.8 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark fruits and sweet liquorice. A veil of menthol surrounds everything at first. When it’s lifted the dark fruitiness appears. It’s a two-layered fruitiness with raisins, overripe black grapes and plums on top and a brighter layer with ripe apples and a hint of lemon underneath. The longer it stays in the glass the more a sweet liquorice note takes over. The background consists of a solid backdrop of vanilla, honey and a hint of oak. This is a very pleasant nose.

Mouth: The impact is very immidiate and the mouth fills with menthol and dark fruits. The sweet liquorice is still in there and the background still contains vanilla and honey notes. After a few seconds the fruitiness sort of makes a full 180 and becomes a lot brighter with lemon, oranges and grapefruit. There’s a speck of dust on top and it’s already a touch astringent.

Finish: The high ABV makes the menthol become really pronounced at first. When it settles it reveals a fruitiness that is even brighter than before. Even though the dark fruitiness still can be found, it’s now leaning heavily towards tropical juice with pineapples, mangos and oranges. There’s still a lemon sourness peeking through. The oak comes through quite clear, and it’s a very nutty oakiness. There’s a big hazelnut flavour and the late finish is absolutely fantastic. This is an amazing whisky.

Additional information
This expression comes from casks filled in 2006. The cask type for the first maturation period isn’t disclosed. It’s then finished in european ex-Palo Cortado sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour. It’s limited to 12 000 bottles worldwide.

The Arran Malt 10 YO – Master of Distilling Jim McTaggart’s 10th Anniversary Limited Edition

ABV: 54.2 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is rich honey sweetness and vanilla with a minty overlay. Black liquorice and a hint of anise create depth and adds to the sweetness. A brighter fruitiness is hiding in the background. It’s quite hard to break it down but there’s some green apples and a hint of lemon. The cask influence is amazing.

Mouth: Dense sweetness and black liquorice. The high ABV creates a layer of spicy chili pepper and it comes rushing in quite fast. It rests on a base of vanilla and honey and a hint of tropical fruitiness with pineapples and lemon zest shine through. A discreet savory note sits in the back. A small note of bitterness comes through. It’s dusty and the texture is oily and thick.

Finish: First comes a spicy kick, then a chalk note. The sweetness and black liquorice return together with the tropical fruitiness. The oak comes fashionably late. It’s a very pleasant oakiness, just a smidge dry and without astringency. There’s hazelnuts coming through in the late finish. This is an absolutely fantastic whisky.

Additional information
This whisky comes from the first casks filled by James McTaggart when he started working at the Arran distillery in 2007. It’s matured in first fill american ex-bourbon oak barrels. It’s a limited edition with just 12 000 bottles released worldwide.