The Isle of Arran distillery is one that is seemingly gaining popularity. If I look on the shelves, it’s quite common to see a couple of expressions from them.
In my head however, I labeled them as “cask finishers”. They produce some whisky finished in Sauternes, Amarone and Port casks, but that’s not all they do.
I’ve got a sample of a private cask for the 2015 Whisky Festival in Gent, it comes from a Sherry hogshead and has matured for 10 years. It’s bottled at 49,5% ABV.
Color: Beautiful amber with an orange hue
Nose: Sherry of course, this is probably a first fill cask, oranges, plums, raisins. There are some fresh notes in there as well. Some brine and mint, hints of vanilla. The alcohol stings a bit but nothing too distracting. There are some green herbs as well, like parsley. With some time there’s orange marmelade and esthers.
Palate: very oily mouthfeel, raisins, dry plums. Mushrooms, dark chocolate. There appears to be some sulphur.
Finish: A long lingering taste of black pepper and chocolate, with some added orange for good measure.
I think it’s an intriguing dram. It shows a fair bit of complexity at it’s relatively young age. Belgian retailer Delhaize have recently brought out one of it’s sister casks, distilled on the same day, I’m curious to see what the added 5% ABV does to this!