Arran 13, Peated Pinot Noir Cask, 56% – OB for The Netherlands

Look at me reviewing a recent release of which I wasn’t sent a sample! That never happens!

Anyway, this one popped up a few weeks ago on the shelves of Dutch whisky shops. It stood out because it being a 13 year old whisky, at a reasonable price. Nowadays, whisky of this age from a somewhat special release generally clocks in at € 100 or more. This one didn’t. It still is widely available for under € 75!

Then, a wine cask, you say? I generally don’t really go for those, although I feel I’ve been saying that often recently, which defeats the point a little bit. Now I know Arran has some experience with weird cask usage from the start of the distillery, and I do think wine casks usually work better with peated whisky.

Image from Whiskybase

So, reasonable price, decent age, limited release, interesting cask (when with peated whisky). Let’s go!

There’s a combination of fruity cask influence, barley and wood, and a whiff of smoke going on. It seems like there’s a tightrope act going on with all flavors being equally present and balanced. After a little while there’s some dark chocolate being added to the red fruits and slightly funky wine cask.

The palate is very soft for a 56% whisky, but there is some freshly cracked black pepper for a little bit of bite. The wine casks are present, but kept in check. Slightly funky with old, wet wood, straw and blue grapes jam.

The finish leaves a bit of bite behind with black pepper and grape jam. There’s some straw and wet oak again.

A pretty present wine cask (like always), but the cask influence is really kept in check. Luckily, because the Arran style makes for a rather light whisky. In this case it works quite well and it’s an enjoyable dram. Especially if you realize this is available for an acceptable € 70!

So, if you can get this at MSRP, it’s quite good for what you pay for it. One of the better recent releases in regard to value for money.



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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