ABV: 50 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 2 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is dark fruits and peat. At first there’s a layer of sweet dark fruits with raisins, overripe plums and coffee liqeuer. On top lies a thin fresh oakiness and underneath lies a peat note and a sweet and sour mix of fresher fruits. Soon the peat starts to merge with the dark fruits and it’s creating tobacco and leather notes within. When it’s settled it becomes sweeter and vanilla and honey are added to the mix. This is a great nose. It’s young and lively but offers a pretty good balance between the flavour components.
Mouth: It starts out with a sour note in the back and a dark fruits and coffee mix up front. It’s quite spicy from the start. It hasn’t got a sweet character. The peat is creating a somewhat weird layer around the edges together with the sour note, which now is coming through as bitter lemon peel. It’s a lot brighter compared to the nose and the Arran house style shines through clearly. There’s a lot of sensations peaking at the same time and it’s a bit hard to navigate through it.
Finish: The spicyness flare up through the transition while the sweet vanilla and dark fruits move towards the edges. Left in the middle is a mix of fresher assorted fruits and sour bitter lemon. The peat is in there as well but it’s not the main attraction. A savory note pops up in the back together with the oakiness. It’s a very fresh and uninteresting oak which lacks a bit of character. This is a very good whisky but it lacks a bit of structure and balance. It’s just a big pile of flavours stacked upon each other. It still makes it a great experience overall.
This whisky is a Sweden exclusive release. It’s aged for at least 7 years in heavily saturated ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s nicknamed ”The Crazy Swede”. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 46 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is sweet and sour. At first there’s a sweet layer of malt, honey and vanilla wrapped around a sour green apple and lemon core. There are hints of gooseberries in there as well. It feels young and fresh without being ethanol driven or metallic. When it settles there are notes of freshly cut grass and vanilla cream added to the whole. It’s a lemony dessert which feels well balanced between the sensations. A hint of sweet liquorice and a mild oakiness are detectable as well. This is a great nose. It’s not complex, but really pleasant.
Mouth: It starts out with a hit of lemon in the back together with a mild spicyness and a slightly bitter note. The sweetness then arrives and makes it quite rich. There are still notes of honey, vanilla and liquorice. The fruitiness is mostly citrus fruits at this point and it’s slightly subdued by the sweetness. It doesn’t feel young and there are signs of time spent in the casks. It’s a slightly dusty dessert-like character which feels very balanced and poised.
Finish: The spicyness mellows out and a fruit explosion ensues. There’s citrus fruits, tropical fruits and gooseberries in spades and it’s a very nice surprise, yet it feels quite logical. The sweetness moves out towards the sides and it just seems to grow the further down the road it goes. When the oakiness arrives it seems to amplify the fruitiness even further and when it finally gets to shine it manages to produce a fantastic nuttiness with mainly hazelnuts. This is a fantastic whisky which just gives more and more the longer it goes. There’s not a lot of complexity but it’s just absolutely delicious.
There is not much information to be found about this whisky. It’s an older NAS release from the distillery. It’s unchillfiltered has natural colour.
ABV: 55.4 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is sweet and slightly peaty. It starts out with a sweet layer of vanilla, honey and coconut. Underneath lies a nail polish remover note and a mild earthy peat. When it starts to settle in the glass the nail polish remover mixes with the vanilla and becomes like a minty piece of candy. It becomes maltier and a bit peatier over time. There is a fruity side to it but it’s somewhat hidden by the other flavours. When it shows, it’s a whiff of peaches as a top note. This is a nice but slightly sharp nose with a nice development in the glass.
Mouth: It starts out with a juniper note and soon becomes quite peppery. The sweetness mixes with a bitter tang in the center and while the peatiness builds up in the back. There’s a savory note in the back as well as some seasalt. It soon becomes slightly astringent and oaky. The peach note and the coconut are still in there but gets overrun by the spicyness quite quick. It’s feels a bit double-edged where one side feels young and rough while the other is aged and delivers dusty notes and leather.
Finish: The peppery notes spike as the dusty and fruity notes finally make a real appearance. It’s lemon (with a metallic note) on the outside and peaches, now attached to a dusty wood note in the back. The peat is still savory and resides on top of the palate. The sweetness is generic sugar sweetness mixed up in everything else and it’s very toned down. It still is a bit salty in the finish and stays that way while the oakiness takes over with the peach note still attached to it. It’s a nice mixed oakiness with a bitter note and some vanilla still in there. This is a very good, yet very weird, whisky. It’s both amazing and mediocre all mixed up in one.
This whisky was released in 2016. It was aged in a mix of first fill ex-bourbon barrels and ex-rum casks (with peated whisky) for an undisclosed amount of time. 8700 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 49.5 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a layer of dried fruits and red berries with cinnamon and vanilla mixed in. It’s raisins and raspberries, but when it settles in the glass it becomes more of a sweet and sour mix with mixed baking spices and lemon peel. Underneath lies a complexity and rich background with notes of age as well as a spicy oakiness. There are a lot of tiny fleeting notes passning by along the way like ginger, oranges and freshly cut grass. It feels extremely balanced and well made. This is a fantastic nose with a clear direction, yet it goes off script and produces nice little surprises here and there.
Mouth: It starts out with a sweet and spicy mix of malt, vanilla and a row of dusty old books. The sweet and sour mix is very much the main focal point with lemon peel and fresh raspberries as a contrast to the sweetness. It feels oily and has a great depth and texture to it. It almost feels savory at times. The oakiness follows along in the background and creates a nice amount of background noise to create a base for the other flavours to stand on. There’s a nice bitterness coming through. The whole basically gives all the sensations a run for their money.
Finish: A gentle spicyness oversees the transition while the malty sweetness and the lemon peel once again creates a rich and oily center core. It still is quite complex and there still are a lot of small nudges to other fruits and spices. The oakiness is residing around the edges with a bitter nuttiness and a spicyness attached to it. The flavour profile stays in the mouth for a very long finish and the oakiness bides its time and prolongs it even further. This is just pure magic. It’s a fantastic whisky and it doesn’t get much better than this in the unpeated category.
This is the fourth release in the Explorer series. It’s limited to 9000 bottles worldwide. It has been aged in ex-sherry puncheons directly from Jerez, Spain which probably means first fill. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 52.5 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. The first thing to come through is a mild vanilla sweetness together with liquorice and assorted dried fruits. It’s a gentle nose and it’s not popping out of the glass. After a few minutes it grows a tiny bit more confident and start to deliver a bigger array of nuances with black currant, ripe red berries and a slightly gritty background. A menthol note is also present. It feels quite young and lively for its age and the distillate is really showing through. It becomes a bit sweeter over time but it’s the fruitiness which is the main note. This is a great nose if it gets a lot of time in the glass.
Mouth: It starts out with a sweet and dusty malt note in the center. There’s a fresh sour fruitiness coming through around the edges which develops into a mix of red and black berries. A black coffee bitterness and an oak note build up in the back. There’s a mild black pepper spicyness sprinkled in as well. The sweetness subsides and it becomes quite complex after a few seconds when an earthy note gets added to the center. The fruitiness is not as pronounced at this point and still resides at the edges.
Finish: The finish starts out with the dusty note in the center and the sweet malty note up front. It then turns up the volume on everything else and gives a nice push of spicy pepper, liquorice and a black coffee bitterness. The vanilla is still in there as well as the berries. When everything subsides, all that remains is a slightly bitter and dusty oakiness, which isn’t the greatest end to an otherwise pleasant journey. This is a great whisky with both ups and downs throughout.
This is a single cask release. It’s aged in an ex-sherry hogshead. It was distilled in 1996 and bottled in 2017. Cask no. 187. The bottle tried has no. 15 out of 327.
ABV: 46 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
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.
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.
ABV: 50 % Origin: Islands Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 1 Impression: 5/5
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.
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.
ABV: 50 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
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.
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.