Monday, July 25, 2011

Arran, not Bourbon

I've liked bourbon for a very long time but in the last number of years, I've become distracted by other whiskies and as such, I've begun to dabble in the dark side; Scotch! My bourbon buddies rib me on a regular basis about it but the truth is, whisk(e)y is so diverse that I love to explore new and different selections. A recent acquisition is The Arran Malt, a Single Island Scotch that is finished in cream sherry casks. What's interesting is this bottle is cask strength at 114.8pf. There are only 756 bottles and I managed to snag four of them.

The Arran comes from Isle of Arran Distillery which began production on June 29, 1995. Relatively speaking, this is a very, very young distillery compared to say Bowmore that's been pumping out whisky goodness since 1779. From what I can tell, this particular bottling is from 2006. That may not be exact as there's not much information floating around about these limited edition bottles. What I can tell you is that I think it tastes pretty darn good.

This is not a scotch from Islay filled with heavy doses of peat and smoke but from Island; very honeyed and loaded with ripe red fruits, balance of sherry influence with the "cream" cask coming though at the end of mid palate. A very pleasing toastiness comes through with a buttery taste as it flows to the back of the palate. On the finish, the fruit and honey sweetness diminishes and I'm left with a pleasant oak, sherry and burnt sugar aftertaste.

The Arran Single Malt LE can still be found in some stores and internet vendors, you'll just have to hunt for it. I got a fantastic deal on my bottle paying $30 with free shipping but it typically retails for about $80 a 750ml.

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