Arran is on a roll the last year or two, with many private cask releases and also quite a few releases for themselves. Since about five years or so they’ve also got a peated whisky on the market, called Arran Machrie Moor. I’ve once reviewed their first edition and wasn’t too charmed by it.
They’re also releasing the peated stuff as a private release every now and then. I believe there was a peated Arran for The Whisky Fair in Limburg last year, and there’s this one for the Belgian market. Maybe there’s more, but let’s start here.
On the nose it start off as the regular bourbon cask matured Arran with a tad more vanilla than usual, but the same huge layer of yellow fruits. Apples, pineapples, some pear. It’s peat is there but very lightly. If I hadn’t known it was peated, I might have overlooked it. There is a scent of plants that gets heavier with a couple minutes in the glass, while the vanilla gets less. Some straw too.
The palate is a tad less fruity than the nose, but it also builds a bit. The plant scent translates into a plant flavor with heather and straw. Pineapple again, and oak. Here the smoke is still light but slightly more detectable than on the nose. As said, the fruit builds a bit to higher intensity.
The finish suddenly has more vanilla and a flavor of custard. Some garden herbs too, like thyme. The straw is here too but the fruits dissipate quickly. It’s long and lightly smoky.
At first, when I was nosing it I was a bit disappointed because the peat was too light to make a real impact, but the fruits were lovely again. I really love the fruitiness of this whisky, but since it’s present in all the bourbon casks I’ve tasted recently, I don’t feel the need to start buying loads of them.
The smoke gains a bit in intensity towards the finish, which is a good thing. I still think it should have been slightly more prominent to really make a difference. The herbal flavors in the finish work really well with the fruit that was already there. Maybe thyme and pineapple is a thing? I might try it on the barbecue this summer!
Arran 8yo, 2006-2014, 56.6%, Peated, #2006/006, OB for The Nectar. Available for € 62 in Belgium