Arran 1996 Càrn Mòr Celebration of the Cask | 52.6% ABV | Bottled 2015

An 18 year old Arran today, bottled by Càrn Mòr in their Celebration of the Cask series. This one matured for 18 years in a Sherry Puncheon, bottled at 52.6% ABV.

Color: Copper

Nose: A little shy at first, but wonderful after you let it breathe for a while. Dark fruits, berries in particular, peach, pear, pudding, crème brûlée and some creamy butter that’s so typically Arran.

Palate: Nice smooth development here. Sweet & sour, tropical fruits, peach and pears again. Some Mirabelles. The cream/butter combo is back as well.

Finish: Blackberries and cherries linger for quite a while, showing it’s sherry influence. Tobacco leaves, tea and milk chocolate.

Another cracking Arran single malt. It needs some time to open up but it rewards you greatly. Very nice balance between the nose and taste too.

88/100

Arran 10 for IWF Gent | 49.5% ABV | Bottled 2015

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!

86/100