Arran 22, 1996-2019, Sherry Hogshead 624, 54.5% – OB for Independent Whisky Bars of Scotland

A second whisky from the advent calendar from Fiddler’s in Drumnadrochit. So far I’ve reviewed only one, but tried the first nine drams and if there is going to be a calendar this year, I’m getting it. The whisky’s are definitely all interesting and most of them quite awesome.

This Arran was bottled for the Independent Whisky Bars of Scotland. A group of whisky bars that consists of The Ardshiel Hotel, Artisan Restaurant, The Bon Accord, The Highlander Inn, The Malt Room and Fiddler’s Inn. They’ve bottled a few casks over the last couple of years. I’ve not had all of them but the ones I had were all worth the money. They seem to be on to something.

This Arran comes from an American Oak hogshead, as do most sherried Arrans, as far as I know. With Arran having a rather typical spirit, and those casks resulting in a rather consistent experience, at least at younger ages, I’m curious to find out how this one turns out.

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
Cheesecake, some peaches, whipped cream. Bastognekoek (a Dutch biscuit made of flour, golden syrup and egg yolk), apple, iron, minerals. A whiff of glue, pastry cream. After a while I start getting a whiff of cork, tree bark, dried coconut shavings.

Sip:
The palate is insanely dry, compared to what I was expecting. Sawdust, oak shavings, coconut shavings. Dried apple, baking spices (Bastognekoek).

Swallow:
The finish is nice and warming and slightly less dry. Dried apple, baking spices, oak shavings.

Typically Arran to overpower a sherry cask with their apple-y spirit… I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a refill sherry cask, since it’s not overly intense in that regard. It’s strangely dry. Normally Arran can be dry, but not like this. That surprised me.

When tasting this with JPH we kept going back and forth between finding this interesting, but also quite hard to gauge. We didn’t really know how to score this, but now I’m reading my tasting notes I get a little bit more enthustiastic about than I did before.

88/100

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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