Last year a friend of mine bought this Arran based on the good reviews Arran was getting in general. He was happy with this bottle and spared me a sample. By these means I can review yet another Arran!
Another sherry cask, just like Tuesday’s single cask bottling for Whisky In Leiden 2015, even another Sherry Hogshead. This one is slightly older though, at 16 year old instead of 14 years old, but two years are not a given for much more wood influence.
Last year, and this year, I’m not going to Limburg for the Whisky Fair because of conflicting plans and the last time I was there in 2013 it was WAY too crowded on the Saturday, which dampened our spirits quite a bit (pun intended). It was so crowded that you could barely get to the stands to see what was what so we ended up not tasting that many good drams, unfortunately. Well, until 5PM that is, because then people went out for food and we could drink a 1937 Glenlivet, and some really awesome Glenturrets, Glencadam by all kinds of bottlers.
Anyway, this one then. By the looks of it you wouldn’t expect too much sherry influence.
The rather typical clean scent of barley that you come across often in Arran. I don’t think I mentioned this before but it’s always there in the background. Slightly mineraly and a scent of wet iron. The sherry is pretty heavy on the nose with dates and plums (opposed to Tuesdays slightly lighter notes). I didn’t know about it being American Oak but the scent tells you it is. Also pineapple, dried pineapple and some coconut.
The oak is quite pronounced on the palate with lots of fruit and a big dollop of coconut. Quite sharp with chili peppers. Also the pineapple and dates are back. Minerals too, oak, and something greasy or at least thick and syrupy.
The finish clearly shows oak and chili pepper. Fruit, crusty bread and it lasts quite long.
My thoughts? This whisky is yet another step towards my fandom of Arran. They seem to have the longest uninterrupted streak at SMWS and the same is starting to happen here. I love what they’re doing in Lochranza and so far, I’ve loved everything I tried from them over the last couple of years. I’m a fan. I might even start collecting the stuff. In a way.
The fruits are slightly heavier in this one that in Whiskysite’s 14 year old, but they’re nicely counterbalanced by the American Oak and the combination of coconut, pineapple and the dried heavy fruits of the sherry works very, very well. In short: It’s awesome. But I like Whiskysite’s one slightly better.
Arran 16yo, 1997-2014, 50.1% – OB for The Whisky Fair 2014. Available at Whisky Fässle in Germany for € 79.