I recently got back from a few weeks in Europe including a week in Scotland, and managed to visit Edinburgh, Glasgow, Arran and Islay. This post covers some drams consumed at the Arran Distillery, as well as some pictures from the island (the castle picture is the view from our B&B window!) Full disclosure, i came down with a bad cold the day we visited the distillery and sadly my tastebuds and nose weren’t working 100%. I’ve included some things i smelled/tasted, supplemented by the observations of my wife. the score takes her assessment into consideration too.
The first is a distillery exclusive bottling, 19 years old (a week away from 20 based on the label), entirely aged in sherry butts and bottled at cask strength. the bartender said this was his favourite bottle on offer right now at the distillery. Apparently the cask was bought 20 years ago by an American chap who had it ageing at their warehouse since then. He then recently sold it back to the distillery and they chose to bottle it as a single cask. They got 631 bottles out of the butt.
Arran 19 Single Cask Sherry Butt CS Distillery Exclusive – 53.7% ABV
- Appearance: Eye. Light yellow and uncoloured . Slow moving thin legs.
- Nose: can’t smell very well. Smells sweet and has a lot of sherry. Sugary, raspberry, cherries, banana. Malty.
- Palate: Sugary, caramel malt , berries. Banana.
- Finish: Sadly I get none due to the cold. My wife says it’s quite long with fruity flavours. Banana, apple.
- Score: 89/100
- Overall: score is from my wife as I didn’t feel I could score it properly. I think based on her experience and what I got out of it, the score would likely be higher if I could have assessed it fully.
Arran Machrie Moor Cask Strength 2nd Edition – 58.2% ABV
- Appearance: Light yellow, uncoloured, thick legs.
- Nose: Lots of smoke and peat. Earthy. Campfire that’s been put out and smoldering. Some sweetness.
- Palate: Sweet peat. Boggy, smoked meat. Peppery. Less smoky than expected from nose. Subtle sweetness.
- Finish: Smokier in the long run.
- Score: 85/100
- Overall: same deal. She liked the other one better but said this was very nice.
I also bought minis of Arran 10 and 14 since I’ve had a lot of their bottlings but not the standards. Next stop will be Islay!