Island Wonders From Arran!
Wednesday nights Tweet Tasting ably demonstrated the rise and rise of Arran Whisky and their range of whiskies which included the release of their first 18 year old and the release of White Stag – their members only dram.
The event was once again hosted by Steve from The Whisky Wire and over two hours we got the opportunity to sample four malts from this Island powerhouse.
The malts sampled were:-
- Arran Whisky Sauternes Finish
- Arran Whisky 18 Year Old
- Arran Whisky Bourbon Cask
- Arran Whisky White Stag
You can catch up on what all the tasters had to say by searching for the hash tag #ArranWhisky on Twitter.
So, what did I think?
Here are my tasting notes … and the one which was my favourite on the night!
Tasting Notes – Arran Whisky Sauternes Finish ( 50% )
Matured in traditional oak casks for approximately 8 years, The Arran Single Malt was finished in a selection of Sauternes wine casks sourced from an artisan producer of this iconic Bordeaux sweet white wine.
Master Distiller, James MacTaggart, has carefully monitored this period of secondary maturation to ensure the perfect balance is struck between the Sauternes casks and the intrinsic sweet-fruity character of The Arran Malt.
Nose: Sweet n’ fruity! Honey & caramel with hint of melon and pineapple. Rich orange and spice comes thru later – nice!
Palate: Creamy mouthfeel, lovely rich orange and honey hits you straight away coupled with Xmas fruit cake like sweetness.
Finish: A dry, tanin finish laden with spice. Hints of tobacco & grapefruit.
Overall: At 50% it sure packs a punch – strong and powerful – but in a sweet way!
Tasting Notes – Arran Whisky 18 Year Old ( 46% )
The first ever official 18 year-old in the Arran Malt range!
Produced from un-peated malted barley and matured in a selection of the finest ex-Sherry casks this whisky has not been artificially coloured and has not been chill-filtered at bottling thus retaining the full range of aromas and flavours which typify this unique Island Single Malt.
This is the final bottling in a trilogy of 16, 17 & 18 year-old Arran Malts which celebrated the countdown to this first official release of The Arran Malt as an 18 year-old.
Only 9,000 bottles of The Arran Malt 18 Years Old have been released worldwide.
Nose: Not as sweet on the nose initially but then creamy vanilla comes thru. Waxy with a background of woodiness. It gets sweeter and sweeter in the glass – heady aromas of stewed apples with a slight hint of spice.
Palate: Less oily, thinner than the Sauternes. Heavy with pineapple, mango, kiwi & other tropical goodies! Richly balanced cakey sweetness with a little licourice.
Finish: Short, smooth finish. There’s a lovely sweetness to this dram that ends with a spicy, pepper combo – Exquisite!
Overall: This is going to be / should be a popular dram – congrats to the team at Arran – an excellent conclusion to the trilogy!
Tasting Notes – Arran Whisky Bourbon Cask ( 55.3% )
Part of Arran Whiskies Premium Cask Selection this particular batch has now, unfortunately, sold out. But there are other batches available to help satisfy us!
Nose: The Arran signature caramel, fudge sweetness is still there joined by yummy wood! Waxy, woody & charred – heaven! There’s also fruity, lilt-like aromas comin’ thru with continued nosing.
Palate: Fizzy, mango and pineapple with a kick-ass hit to it! Thick, rich and sweet – Amazing!
Finish: Long, smooth finish with strength aplenty – sweet and spicy to the last!
Overall: Even though it’s a 55%+ the alcohol burn is very slight and I had my nose well and truly stuck into my nosing glass! Full of character with a morish zest to it.
Tasting Notes – Arran Whisky White Stag ( 54.2% )
At nearly 18yrs this non-chill filtered single sherry cask was the first bottling chosen by the Arranwhisky White Stag tasting panel and will be launching in June.
Only 214 bottles will be released worldwide and they are available from Arran Whiskies web site.
To become a White Stag member you can sign up for free!
Nose: Quite subtle after the bourbon barnstormer – sweetness and a bit of the bourbon woodiness I think … There’s dark chocolate and coffee as well. Slightly waxy but a perfect balance of subtle sweetness & spice saves the day.
Palate: Intensely sweet and spicy with fizzy tropical fruit explosions! Mango, pineapple – liquid sunshine in a glass!
Finish: Sweet, smooth, peppery finish: sublime …
Overall: A truly gorgeous dram – strong but well balanced – a giver not a taker! Excellent stuff indeed.
My Favourite On The Night
Out of the 4, I think it’s got to be the White Stag closely followed by the Bourbon Cask.
My fellow Tweeters were:-
@TheWhiskyWire @whiskyrepublic @raithrover @WeDrinkWhisky @annawizauk @JoeFHolmes @JohnnieStumbler @LiquortoLips @GreatDrams @jasonbstanding @MyWhiskyGuide @ben_cops @dramming_uk @julie_gwc @WordsofWhisky @Girl_Whisky @WhiskyFriends @MaltKlaus @sjoerd972 @LoveBowmore @WhiskySpeller @Pandemoniumd01 @DH17slijterij @PWulf
Arran Whisky is also available to buy from these Whisky Merchants:-