I’m going to report on last Wednesday’s Twitter Tasting in a bit of a jumble, starting with this bottling that ended the tasting. I didn’t report earlier since I took my wife to Venice for her birthday (which was in September).
The White Stag bottling Arran is about to release on their Whisky Festival in June is the first of the range, they expect to do a bottling for their fan club every once in a while. It’s a bit like the Friends of Laphroaig and Ardbeg Committee. Most independent distilleries have a fan club program currently and it seems like a great way to give something back to your loyal drinkers.
Currently this White Stag is 17 years old but by the time the official bottling will be done it’ll be 18 years old. The whisky is drawn from a sherry cask, but in line with most of their (recent) sherry casks, white oak was used in construction of the vessel. There’ll be some 214 bottles available when it will be released. There is no information on the price yet.
The American oak is very clear from the beginning, and quite loud too. There is a light sherry influence, as well. I get peaches and apricot, pineapple and a light spicy note. After a while a tiny solventy note pops up, but not in a bad way. Oak shavings, and freshly pressed apple juice too.
The palate has white pepper, apple and pineapple. White oak, obviously. There’s some wild peach and that spicy hint again. It’s tough to pin down, but it’s there. Again, those oak shavings and I’m thinking I get a sweet hint of oloroso sherry too.
The finish is slightly more dry with white pepper, apple, pear skin and peach. I think I get a hint of coconut as well, and a light layer of sherry behind it all.
This is a cracker! It might not be my instant favorite since there are some really awesome and even more fruity single bourbon casks out there, but this is one is great still. The wood speaks quite loudly and almost overpowers the spirit, with the sherry only playing second violin and not be nearly as prominent as I expected.
The fact that they used sherry instead of fresh bourbon results in the wood being slightly subdued and the whisky not just being a carrier for white oak derived flavours, even though I like them. Depending on whether or not this bottle will become available to White Stag members that aren’t going to Lochranza in the last weekend of June, I’m buying this.
I’m becoming quite the Arran fanboy, it seems!
Arran White Stag, 17yo, 54.2%, about to be bottled and released when it just turns 18 in June. No pricing information yet.