Taste Review 8 – Arran
Going to stick to the island whiskies for another taste review, and head south from the review of last weeks Talisker Storm and land on the Isle that has named many a woolly jumper – Arran. As the case with Talisker on the Isle of Skye, Arran is another Inner Hebridean island, it sits between the Kintyre peninsula and the Ayrshire coast.
There isn’t a lot for me to tell you about the Arran distillery. It is the first modern distillery on the island, based in Lochranza at the north end of the Arran and was founded in 1995. However, such is the demand for their product, they are already expanding, and as of 2016 decided to open a second distillery at Lagg, which has not seen whisky production (legally at least!) since 1837. The second distillery is aiming to help spread the tourist impact across the island, and also to produce their peated malts. First production was made on the 19th March 2019.
This taste review comes to you via another of my miniature purchases which saves me buying the full bottle. This one had been recommended to me, so I purchased my mini-malt for £5.20 from the Whisky Shop in Dufftown.
14 years old
Ginger, chocolate orange, vanilla, pears.
Very smooth. Burnt oak, spiced fruits, hazelnuts, citrus, toffee. Salt comes to the party when you add a little water.
Smooth, brine note holds well when water added. Caramel, cinnamon; the chocolate orange came back for me at the very end.
Quite a pleasant dram. I was able to pick out the chocolate orange straight away. I used to have a girlfriend who would only realise that I bought the chocolate only for her if it was a Terrys Chocolate Orange. I can’t stand it. Only chocolate orange stuff I like is Jaffa cakes. The bottling strength is bang on the money, but still tastes smooth. It is without artificial colour and non-chill filtered.
The initial aroma is very delicate. I nearly thought it was mint. However it hides a subtle complexity. I found many different flavours, and enjoyed the coastal brine note that became easier to spot with water added.
Would I buy a bottle? Possibly at some point, regardless of the Chocolate Orange note. I’m not sure of how available it is, as a few places have sold out, but I suspect that as this is a part of the core range is that success has over run a limited supply.
Expect to pay about £45-£52 a bottle.