Kategoriarkiv: Islands

Highland Park Full Volume

ABV: 47.2 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and floral. At first there’s a floral heathery core with a sweet honey and vanilla shell. Underneath lies a mild and herbaceous peatiness. Buried within there are notes of liquorice and oak. With time in the glass the sweetness retreats and the floral notes move forward. This is a nice nose but there’s not much more to discover outside the initial impression.

Mouth: It starts out sweet with liquorice and heather coming through once again. The peatiness is still extremely mild and it takes some time for it to increase in intensity. The peat never leaves the background but at its peak it creates a very nice three-dimensional experience. The oakiness do come through and brings a small hint of coconut but it takes a while to ger there.

Finish: There’s a spicyness which feels very balanced and gives the finish a nice send of. When it slowly subsides the floral notes and a hint of tropical fruits returns together with the sweetness. There’s a small and subtle bitterness in the back together with the peat. It stays consistant for a long time before the oak takes over. It’s a long and nice oakiness altough it’s generic flavourwise. This is a very good whisky although it feels quite far off from its heritage.

Additional information
Full Volume is a 1999 Vintage bottled in 2017. It’s aged in first fill ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads. 481 casks were selected. It was filtered at +4 C and has natural colour.

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Tobermory 17 YO – 2004 Oloroso Cask Matured

ABV: 55.9 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a healthy serving of vanilla, toffee and soft red berries. There’s a mild layer of menthol floating around on top. Underneath the sweetness a darker character with dark chocolate, dried fruits and overripe plums creates a nice backplate. The fresher berries are joined by baked apples in the center and a rather translucent coastal note. With time in the glass everything seems to merge together to create a nice thick experience. This is a great, straight forward nose without any surprises. It delivers a solid profile which is nice overall.

Mouth: It starts out with a coastal note in the back and a quite peppery spicyness up front. There’s an immidiate increase in volume which makes the initial impact quite powerful. There are dark fruits and walnuts slowly emerging on the sides with notes of dark chocolate, overripe plums and leather. On top there’s a sprinkle of dust and some fresher fruits. The center is filled with vanilla and toffee. It still delivers a profile which is exactly on point with what to expect. After a few seconds it almost gets too spicy and forces a move on to the next step.

Finish: Surprisingly the transition almost immidiately reduces the intensity and the whole gets back to being powerful and spicy without being too aggressive. The dark fruits, chocolate and leather stay towards the edges while the center, still filled with vanilla and toffee, gets somewhat perfumey and aromatic. This seems to be connected to an oakiness which starts to build up in the back. The bitter note from the dark chocolate is now stronger and it really shows its age in the late finish. It takes a good while to get there but the late finish reveals a very nice and nutty oakiness with telltale signs of the 17 years spent in a cask. This is a great whisky which does everything by the book. It’s a solid creation (which, to be a bit picky, maybe lacks a bit of fun for the explorer).

Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 2004 and bottled 2021. It was aged in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. 11124 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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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.

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Highland Park Valfather

ABV: 47 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is floral and peaty. At first there’s a honey sweetness surrounding a core of heathery peat with additional tobacco and coastal notes. There’s also a fruity layer which sits beneath everything else. It’s a fresher fruitiness with a mixed apple and pear juice vibe to it. A thin veil of oakiness can be detected around the edges of the glass as well as vanilla. This is a very nice nose with a variety of flavours coming through.

Mouth: It starts out with a generic sweetness and it takes a second of two before everything else starts to push through. The heathery peat is first, the honey and vanilla notes are second and lastly the fruits, which now lean more towards the apples. There’s a saltiness as well. The tobacco notes are not very prominent at this point. For those who are patient the oakiness builds up in an outer layer and becomes very noticable. The whole thing is very mild and easy on the palate.

Finish: The peat is first to push through with heather and tobacco within but they are subdued by a somewhat hard-to-pinpoint complex savory note. The floral notes swirl around and the heather is joined by a hint of violets and a feint taste of tropical fruits. The honey sweetness and the vanilla increase in intensity before the oakiness once again starts to take over. There’s bitter coffee note in the back and a pretty generic oakiness up front. This is a good whisky with a lot of good things within but it just doesn’t feel very well balanced overall.

Additional information
The Highland Park Valfather is made from 100 % peated barley. It’s aged in refill casks for an undisclosed amount of time.

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Highland Park 12 YO – Viking Honour

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet fruits and mild peat. Fresh red berries and vanilla create a thick layer up front. There’s also a lemon note in the middle and some dried fruits a bit further out. The mild peatiness seems to sit in between everything else and it brings notes of leather and a hint of tobacco. After a while all flavours seem to merge and agree on a sweet orange fruitiness. The vanilla stays out of it though and mellows out a bit. This is a mild and very pleasant nose.

Mouth: At first it’s just sweet vanilla for a second or two. The first thing arriving is a thin bitter note and the red berries and dried fruits, now presented as dried apricots with a hint of raisins. It soon changes towards oranges again and now the peel is included. The peat is much more noticable here and it now sits on the outer edges. It’s leather, tobacco and a hint of rubber. There’s no oakiness present yet and there’s no perticular change over time.

Finish: The peat slowly spreads out over the palate and then ends up towards the edges again. The frutiness is the same as before with red berries, dried apricots, raisins and orange peel. It takes a second or two for the oak to come through, but when it arrives it’s a great dry and nutty oak. It’s walnuts and a hint of assorted tropical fruits in there as well. The mild peaty aura with leather and tobacco is consistant through it all. This is mild but never boring. This is a great whisky for a tired brain.

Additional information
The 12 YO was first released in the 1970’s as a core range whisky. The ”Viking Honour” name was added in 2017. It’s mostly matured in european ex-sherry oak casks. It’s bottled with natural color.

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Highland Park 10 YO – Viking Scars

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a thick layer of honey and vanilla with dried fruits and red berries within. There are raisins and molten plums coming through, but the fruitiness is shifting over time. There is also an immidiate aura of oak hovering around the main flavours. After a second or two a very mild peatiness sort of makes itself known in the background. Over time the vanilla note takes over more and more and a lemon sourness starts to appear. There is a sprinkle of dust somewhere in the middle too. This is a nice and straight forward nose without any big surprises.

Mouth: It starts out with the sweetness up front and a bitterness in the back. It takes a while before it presents any descriptable flavours. First thing to unveil is a peaty background and a dusty layer just above it. In front of that there’s a spicy and bitter oakiness and on too there’s a mix of honey, vanilla and dried dark fruits. There’s also tobacco and black coffee and a big chunk of dark chocolate. The lemon note is still in there as a nice contrast to the heavier flavours.

Finish: It starts out with a mild, cooling peppermint. When it settles it reverts to being slightly peaty and bitter in the back with the sweet notes still in focus. The dried fruits gets a little more attention here just before the oakiness takes over. When it does it brings the peat forward and the finish is much more peaty which gives the whole a much needed depth. There’s still tobacco notes within. The oakiness is rather uninteresting and doesn’t bring anything special to the table. This is a nice straight forward dram which hugely benefits from time spent in the glass before consumption.

Additional information
The ”Viking Scars” name came from a rebranding 2017. It’s matured in ex-sherry casks made from both european and american oak and have natural colour.

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Highland Park Spirit of the Bear

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This was released in 2018 as a travel retail exclusive. It’s aged in a mix of first fill sherry-seasoned european and american oak casks and refill casks. It has a higher proportion of peated malt. It has natural colour.

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Ledaig 19 YO – 1998 PX Cask Finish

ABV: 55.7 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and peaty. At first there’s a sweet minty layer and a vanilla note mixed with a warm campfire peatiness. In the background there are coastal notes with a hint of salty air and seaweed. In between there are nuts, leather and a sticky liqeuer sweetness. It’s not overly sweet though, and the nose is very rich, pleasant and extremely well balanced. With some time in the glass everything sort of joins together. It’s a very unorthodox mix of flavours which works very well together. There’s a darker, gritty note showing up in the back with dried fruits attached to it, but the main focus stays on the sweet and minty wood fire peatiness. This is a fantastic and original nose.

Mouth: It starts out with a fresher fruitiness in the back with some assorted tropical fruits. The sweet and minty peatiness sits up front together with vanilla and honey. In between there are sweet dried fruits, leather and pipe tobacco. It’s salty and rowdy and it’s quite mineral rich. It’s not as sweet as on the nose but it’s got more complexity to it. It feels savory in the back and after a few seconds it becomes peppery as well. It still feels very original and interesting and it’s very lively for its age.

Finish: The center part with dried fruits, leather and tobacco really steps forward in the transition. The minty layer and the peppery spicyness just keep their levels and there are no sharp edges. There are notes of heather and honey sitting together with the warm peatiness out on the edges. The center part is still mineral rich and there’s still a savory note in the back. The finish is long and rewarding and it takes a long time before any flavour gives way. When the oakiness start to break through, it starts out directly from the peatiness and spreads inwards. It’s a nice, nutty oakiness with a sprinkle of dust and for the first time there are notes of age shining through. This is an amazing and original whisky with so many notes floating around that it’s impossible to catch them all.

Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 1998 and bottled 2018. It was aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in ex-PX sherry casks. It’s a limited release. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Talisker Storm

ABV: 45.8 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
The Talisker Storm was released in 2013. It’s aged in a mix of refill ex-bourbon and recharred ex-bourbon barrels for an undisclosed amount of time.

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Arran Sherry Cask – The Bodega

ABV: 55,8 %
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 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.

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Arran 15 YO Rare Batch – French Oak: Bordeaux

ABV: 52.8 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a menthol layer sitting on top of a sweet and fruity layer which consists of vanilla and liqeuer-soaked red berries. In the background there’s a small, dark and gritty complexity which consists of raisins, oil and just a hint of sulfur. When it settles it becomes sweeter and slightly sour. The lemon note can be found as a part of the center and in the back. The whole thing is a bit laid back and doesn’t pop out of the glass, but it still comes through as quite easy to access. This is a great nose with a little bit of everything nicely put in its place.

Mouth: It starts out with a sweet shell of coconut and vanilla. It’s a big contrast between the richness of the nose compared to the initial impact in the mouth. It’s immidiately rich and complex and there’s too much going on to really describe what’s happening. There’s a mix of fresh fruits, lemon, dark fruits and everything sits in a nice, floral vanilla and lemon center part. There’s also the oily and gritty note within, as well as notes of age, like dust, old wood and leather. It almost feels slightly smoky as well. It’s just an absolutely amazing experience at this point.

Finish: At the start of the transition the dusty notes move first and take seat on top. There’s a surge of spicyness which for the first time reveals its high ABV. It does hide some of the other flavours for a while before it starts to fade. The coconut is still in there and sits together with the dust and the floral notes on top of everything else. The center part is very sweet and fruity but it’s now moving towards the sour lemon note. The finish is long and it sort of sits in this manner for a good while without any changes. When it finally fades it reveals a slightly bitter and dry oakiness which feels slightly underwhelming. This is a great whisky with a fantastic middle part of the journey. It’s an explorer’s dram through and through.

Additional information
This whisky was aged in french oak casks which previously held red wine from The mêdoc region north of Bordeaux. 2580 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Arran 15 YO Rare Batch – French Oak: Argonne

ABV: 53.5 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and spicy. At first there’s a spicy layer floating on top of a very sweet mix of vanilla, sweet liquorice, honey and dark fruits. It’s a very rich center part and it’s almost sticky sweet. There’s a complex note floating around somewhere in the back which seems to come from the wine casks. There are some blueberry notes attached to it. It takes a long time for it to settle in the glass and when it does there are floral notes floating up to the surface as well as cinnamon and lemon. This is a very nice nose which feels slightly secretive on what to expect of the rest of the journey.

Mouth: It starts out with a very sweet initial impact. The ABV spicyness comes through quite fast and almost immidiately balances out the sweetness. There are notes of old bookshelves in the background with a speck of dust on top. It’s dry and astringent at this point. After a few seconds there’s a sour lemon note revealing itself in the background which really helps it along and makes it a lot more interesting. The fruitiness now feels a bit more fresh and bright than on the nose but it still feels a bit toned down.

Finish: The start of the finish brings all kinds of fresh fruits with mango, pineapple, lemon as well as blueberries and red berries. There are floral notes on top and the lemon note is residing in the background. There are vanilla and honey notes and the book shelves are still in there. When all the sweet flavours start to fade a sprinkle of salt, cinnamon and a very nice oakiness start to take over. It’s a slightly nutty and astringent oak and it fits the other flavours very well. This is a great whisky with a lot to offer, yet it somehow feels like a slightly incomplete experience.

Additional information
This whisky was aged in french oak casks which previously held still wine from Argonne. 3060 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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The Arran Malt The Devil’s Punch bowl Chapter II: Angels and Devils

ABV: 53.1 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet, sour and slightly peaty. At first there’s a mix of honey and vanilla sitting on top of a base of sour candy, raisins, raspberries and a gritty note with peat mixed into it. On top a mix of nail polish remover and menthol is floating around. After a while the vanilla and a malty note increase in intensity, and so do the sherry notes, which adds butterscotch and strawberries. This makes the peatiness move out towards the edges and a chance for the oak to peek through. This is a great and complex nose which retains the Arran house style very well even though it has some unique and strong flavours from the casks.

Mouth: It starts out very sweet with vanilla, coconut and honey, but the sour side isn’t far behind. There’s a tropical fruit basket arriving in the back while a nice black pepper spicyness spreads out over the palate. In between there’s a fresh red fruitiness and some baking spices, butterscotch and malt. It’s got a quite savory background note and a slightly salty overtone. It feels very balanced and the different sensations goes well together. The oakiness is present throughout.

Finish: The sweet and sour notes really push through and takes the tropical fruitiness along. There are cinnamon and oak around the edges and there’s a speck of dust somewhere within. The peatiness is nowhere to be found at this point. When it settles the sherry notes once again come through and they’re pushed back a bit and have more of the fresh berries than the butterscotch now. The finish is long and extremely rewarding. The oakiness shows up together with the peat. It’s an aromatic oakiness with hazelnuts which feels attached to the cinnamon note and the tropical fruits. The peat is nicely balanced to add to the mix instead of taking over. This is an amazing whisky with too many flavours, sensations and small notes to describe them all.

Additional information
This whisky is a vatting of 27 casks (17 sherry hogsheads and 10 ex-bourbon barrels. The different casks holds whiskies, both peated and unpeated, distilled between 1994 and 2004. It was bottled 2013. 6660 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Talisker 8 YO – Special Release 2021

ABV: 59.7 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This whisky is one of Diageo’s special releases 2021. The is no information about which casks are used. It’s bottled at natural cask strength.

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The Arran Malt Finished in a Rum Cask

ABV: 57.6 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and spicy. At first there’s a layer of vanilla, coconut and sweet fruits underneath a cloud of nail polish remover. When it settles it becomes sweeter and fruitier as well as a bit more acidic. It feels young and vibrant. It takes a while in the glass before it reaches its full potential and when it does, there’s a nice complexity in the back and a nice balance between sweet and sour in the center. At this point the sherry fruitiness, with liqueuer-soaked red berries as its main feature, is creating a thin outside layer towards the edges of the glass. This is a great nose when given time to open up.

Mouth: It starts out with a mix of sweet and dusty vanilla, coconut and a nice powerful, yet pleasant, spicyness. It’s acidic overall and has a lemon sourness which contrasts the sweet flavours. The sherry notes are somewhat subdued and resides in the background together with the sour notes and an elusive cinnamon note. There’s also a small bitterness floating around. It’s not the most interesting development and it feels like the different components compete for attention instead of adding to the whole.

Finish: The transition is very logical. The sweetness increase in intensity as well as the spicyness. It’s not spikes, it’s more of a slow increase. The fruitiness then arrives around the edges and it’s a general fruitiness without any specific recognizable sorts. It still feels more like a fight between components than a cohesive character. The bitterness is still in there and it slowly turns into walnuts. The late finish is a very nutty and frankly amazing oakiness and becomes the best part of the journey. This is a very good whisky, but it feels a bit over-engineered.

Additional information
This is a single cask release. It was aged in an ex-sherry cask and then finished in a rum cask and bottled in 2004. The bottle reviewed has no. 96/260. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Arran Quarter Cask – The Bothy

ABV: 56.2 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and spicy. At first there’s a sweet honey and vanilla layer with oak spices on top. The oakiness is present from the start which brings coconut to the mix as well. Underneath is a zesty lemon note and after a while it’s joined by a mix of yellow fruits like mangos and peaches. The sweetness and the spicy oak is the main event though and it lacks a bit of balance overall. There’s not much complexity to it. It does settle a bit with time in the glass. This is a very nice nose, but the oak is a bit too protruding.

Mouth: It starts out with a spicy oakiness around the edges and a nice fruit mix in the back. The sweetness with vanilla, coconut and honey sits in the center. There’s a savory note in the back and somewhere in the middle a gritty note floats around and makes the whole a lot more interesting and adds complexity to the experience. The fruits are more sour and a bit bitter at this point, with lemon zest as the main note. The spicyness increases over time and adds a nice power-up.

Finish: The fruitiness comes crashing in and delivers a very nice mix of tropical fruits. It’s still mangos, lemons and peaches and now they get to shine for a couple of seconds before the oakiness takes over once again. It’s still packed with oak spices and coconut. It’s not as sweet as before and the main focus is on the oak. It once again becomes unbalanced and the late finish is a woodshop oakiness which comes through as a bit dry. It’s not bad at all, but it obscures the fantastic flavours behind it. After a while the coconut returns as well. This is a very good whisky and you get what the label suggests; A fantastic distillate overrun by small casks.

Additional information
This whisky was aged first fill ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in american oak quarter casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Arran Seuternes Cask Finish

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and sour. At first there’s a thick layer of sweetness with honey, vanilla and sweet, green grapes sitting on top of a mix of fresh lemon and tropical fruits. There are pineapple, mango and passion fruit notes within the fruitiness. It feels rich and there’s a spicyness somewhere out towards the edges and it comes from a fairly fresh oakiness. There’s also a salty caramel floating around somewhere on top. This is a very nice nose. It’s not complex and it’s a bit too sweet, but it still feels decently balanced.

Mouth: It Starts out with sweet green grapes and gooseberries and a sweet honey and vanilla richness. Behind the sweetness there’s lemon in the back, now with a bit of zesty bitterness. The tropical fruits can still be found as well. There’s a slight dustiness, some malt and a pinch of salt in the center. It very much has a white wine aura from the finishing casks. After a while a quite complex mix of savory and sour starts to arise in the background and it has a gritty note attached to it. A mild spicyness builds up around the edges for those who wait.

Finish: The spicyness slowly intensifies and it doesn’t take long before the whole array of flavours follow. The tropical fruits gets to shine but they do have the lemon zest in the background as back-up. The front of the palate consists of the honey and vanilla sweetness, but it feels slightly more generic at this point. It’s a long finish and when the flavours start to fade the oak, lemon and spicyness stays behind and gives it a very nice send of. The oak is competent and brings a nice coconut flavour to the late finish. This is a great whisky. It’s a little bit too sweet but overall gives a nice journey throughout.

Additional information
This whisky was aged for around 6 years in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished for 8-12 months in Seuternes wine barriques. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Jura 18 YO

ABV: 44 %
Origin:
Islands
Type:
Single Malt
Bottles in collection:
0
Emptied bottles:
0
Impression:
4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark fruits and mild peat. At first, a mix of overripe dark berries and raisins create a top layer above a sweet core of vanilla and honey. There are baking spices and a slight dustiness within. A funky complex note is sitting in the middle of it all which makes this quite interesting even though it seems to lack some flavours from the long maturation. The peat is creating a nice backdrop. It feels like the red wine finish sort of creates a lid on top instead of being integrated with the rest of the content.

Mouth: It starts out with a nice and mild spicyness. The peat comes through as a mild bottom layer with a touch of sulfur, leather and tobacco. The main part is still a sweet honey and vanilla core with the ripe berries and raisins on top. The cinnamon is not detectable anymore. It does a better job in taste than on the nose to create a whole. After a second or to there’s a bitter coffee note coming up from the back. It still feels a bit younger than its age.

Finish: It picks up where it left off and the flavour profile is intact all the way through. There’s still a mix of vanilla and honey together with ripe grapes and raisins. The peat is still very mild and creates a nice surrounding layer of leather and tobacco as the oak starts to show up. It’s a very nice oakiness with a walnut nuttiness and a coffee bitterness to it and the late finish is the first time it feels like its age. This is a great whisky, yet it feels a bit manufactured to cover up less active casks used for the long maturation period.

Additional information
This whisky was released in 2018. It’s matured for 18 years in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in ex-Premier Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux red wine casks.

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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Arran 1998 (Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseur’s Choice)

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2007 which makes it ~ 9 YO. It’s aged in refill ex-sherry hogsheads.

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