Arran is on a roll the last year or two. There have been so many private bottlings you’d almost start wondering if they’re keeping anything for themselves any longer. Almost every independent bottler or bigger shop or importer has had at least one of their own bottlings.
The Dutch market has seen five bottlings in a year (Dark Lord, White Wizard, Bright Early Spring, Big Fat American V8 and The Prancing Horse), and Whisky in Leiden had their festival bottling from Arran this year.
Now let’s hope other festivals are going to be a little inspired instead of following suit since at some point it’s not that useful to just add more Arran to a flooding market. It happened with GlenDronach and Ledaig a few years ago. Every festival and shop bottled their own until everybody stoppped caring.
Anyway, The Whisky Exchange has one too. It’s a 14 year old whisky from a bourbon barrel. They released it at their The Whisky Show about two weeks ago, as they do with most of their bottlings. I love The Whisky Exchange for being so big they can do some 6 bottlings, and a whole battalion of private bottlings in one go.
The palate shows old apple and oak again, with some vanilla and citrus. Pastry dough, a light dusting of baking spices like cinnamon.
The finish is more spicy than the palate (there’s a good evolution of that in this dram) with old apple and a hint of cork. Not overly long.
It’s a strange one, this. Compared to the very fruity Arran I was expecting based on almost all bottlings I’ve had the last months, this one is divergent. It just doesn’t fit the mold. It has a much heavier and old fashioned profile that’s far more focused on oak and spices.
What is very nice is that the finish is great. Unfortunately I find the palate somewhat less great and the nose rather uninteresting. It’s not my style of Arran, apparently. The good thing is that the build up is well done and the end of the whisky is much better than the beginning.
Arran 2000-2015, 14yo, 55.5%, bourbon barrel 2000/1106, OB for The Whisky Exchange. Available for £ 70.95 (€ 101)
Thanks to TWE and Billy A. for giving me a sample!