When Arran started to release their Icons of Arran series in 2009 not many people took notice. They came, they went and that was that.
Now, a couple of years later they’ve turned out to be highly collectible and their very fair price has risen quite a bit. Especially the first one, The Peacock, is worth about € 250, according to Whiskybase. That bottle started out at about € 40 to € 50, if I recall correctly.
I’ve tasted that one, and it’s a great whisky. But is it worth the same as that 10 year old Port Ellen I tasted a few days ago? Apparently, but it sure makes me wish I had a case to sell!
The Westie is the third of the four releases (the others being The Peacock, The Rowan Tree and The Golden Eagle) and depicts Arran’s distillery dog Ruaraidh. I’m glad they went for The Westie instead of its name.
It’s a blend of 22 selected refill Oloroso hogsheads, so a bit of sweetness is expected.
Sniff (no pun intended):
Even after 12 or 13 years in casks it still smells pretty young to me with hints of spirit and genever. I get barley too but all in a bit of a boring way. Some oak and the iconic Arran apple scent is present too, but in an old and corky way. A touch of white pepper for some spice.
Spicy, the pepper picks up. Otherwise rather one dimensional with grass and oak. Not much else is happening. The touch of apple, a bit of sweetness.
A continuation of the palate with some more influences of barley and cookie dough.
When this one came out I was very much in doubt whether or not I should pick a few up for its collectibility but I’m glad I didn’t. While The Peacock has a certain appeal, as does The Rowan Tree, this one lacks that. Since this one still hasn’t sold out, I’m guessing I’m not the only one.
Anyway, the casks are refill ones and I don’t think it’s a second fill. The flavours of the cask are very limited.
Arran, Icons of Arran 3: The Westie, 1998-2011, 46%. Available at Whiskybase for € 64.95