Origin: Isle of Arran (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex -Sherry
Added coloring: No
Owner: Isle of Arran Distillery
Average price: € 34.00
Official website: www.arranwhisky.com
I’ve already talked about the Arran distillery in my review of their 18-year-old, and I’m taking advantage of the release of the new packaging on 16 September to try the basic whisky in their portfolio.
From this date, in fact, the distillery begins to roll out the radical restyling of their bottles, starting with the base malts and ending with the replacement of the entire range by the end of 2019.
Before the review, I wanted to say a few words about the sample you see in the main photo, which bears the Flaviar label.
It ‘ in fact a sample that was part of a box of three (the others were the Talisker Storm and the Jura already reviewed on these pages), obtained “for free” by registering on the Flaviar website. It’s an English website (originally from Slovenia) that offers a paid membership (quarterly or annual) with which you get a free tasting box of your choice, a bottle of your choice among those they offer and free shipping from their online shop.
Is it convenient? Not very.
Their online shop is meagre and its prices are more or less in line with those of other sites, the tasting boxes have a really nice packaging with a discreet but sometimes a bit bizarre choice, and above all with a subscription cost that, unless you buy in spurts, doesn’t compensate for the advantages offered: I signed up (once) taking advantage of a half-price offer (and to buy The Ileach Cask Strength, also on offer at the time), but when it’s at full price I personally cannot recommend it.
I felt I had to mention it since their logo appeared in the review photos and I wouldn’t want it to be thought of as my endorsement.
The very delicate straw yellow colour accompanies a very pronounced malty nose, together with caramel, marzipan and yellow fruit. You don’t feel the alcohol at all, leaving room for this sweet but not cloying nose.
On the palate, the alcohol only emerges initially, while the malt remains very present, closer to a biscuit (like the kind they give you with coffee) than to cereal. More fruit, a hint of pineapple and melon, together with a hint of saltiness. Slight underlying tartness, on the length, of lemon. A sweet and delicate profile, not explosive but soft.
The finish is a little dry, still malty and a touch sour, all in all short.
An introductory whisky, excellent for those who want to approach the distillate: not very complex, not exuberant, smooth and accommodating. Perhaps for this reason it’s a little boring for those who have tried other whiskies, but far from being despicable.
Reviews of Arran whisky in the blog:
Arran Barrel Reserve
Arran Sherry Cask “The Bodega”
Cadenhead’s Arran 22yo
The Arran Malt 18yo
The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finish
The Arran Malt Côte-Rôtie Cask Finish
The Scotch Noob