The Isle of Arran is located off the West coast of Scotland and nestled in the Firth of Clyde. Although there was a distillery there a long time ago, the current Arran Distillery appeared in 1994, so is relatively new. But even though it's quite a young distillery (compared to most others), it is producing some incredible whisky that encapsulates the history and style of the Isle. It's quickly becoming one of my favourite and exciting whiskies to have on-hand.
I hadn't tried this particular Port-cask whisky for some time, and only after being reacquainted with it again recently at Whisky Live London, did I realise how damn lovely it is. Yet again, Arran are producing some astonishingly good rich dessert-like whiskies at a higher ABV for a very affordable price. Certain other distilleries should take note.
This particular whisky has been matured in ex-Bourbon casks before being transferred into casks that contained Port, for final finishing. The visual result is a beautiful pink tinge on the liquid, and the result on the taste is just phenomenal - that thick, sweet port influence is there with aplomb.
Appearance: Deep amber with an underlying body of pink Rosé wine.
Nose: Tart to start with, then sweetness comes through with fragrant ripe berries (redcurrants & blueberries) There's a nice buttery creaminess to the nose as well. You just know it's going to be a sweet delivery...
Palate: The sweetness on the nose is carried through onto the palate with aplomb! It’s completely full-bodied, oily, and unctuous with bucket loads of richness. A warming sprinkling of pepper crackles on the tongue and then that honey-thick sweetness comes back and covers every part of the mouth. A note of milk chocolate, some gentle woody-bite, nuts and some fruitiness dance around.
Finish: Long, sweet, and almost chewy. Totally mouth-coating & warming.
Conclusion: An absolute must-buy for anyone who likes sweeter whiskies, and a port-influenced dram. And the higher ABV really carries more flavour through here. Excellent stuff indeed.
Available for under £50 at the time of writing (which is a total bargain)
More about the Arran Distillery here