Origin: Isle of Arran (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex Côte-Rôtie Wine
Added coloring: No
Owner: Lochranza Distillery
Average price: € 50.00
Official website: www.arranwhisky.com
Despite its young age (it has been in operation since 1995), the Arran distillery, with its creamy whiskies with floral notes, can boast a fair number of admirers among enthusiasts, and a core range of absolute respect, which in the Autumn of this year underwent a major rethink, not only in terms of restyling.
A significant space in the core range is occupied by “finishing” whiskies: whiskies that, after spending part of their unspecified length of ageing in traditional ex-Bourbon American oak casks, have concluded their maturation in casks that had previously housed Port (Port cask finish), French wine Sauternes (Sauternes cask finish), Marsala (Marsala cask finish) or our Amarone della Valpolicella (Amarone cask finish). These are all decidedly interesting expressions that we’ll go through in time.
But the most curious finishings can be found in the distillery’s Limited Editions.
This is a Côte-Rôtie cask finish, where Côte-Rôtie is a sweet red wine from the Rhone Valley. Like all of Arran’s finishes, this one was bottled at 50% ABV, with no chillfiltration and no additional colouring.
Since the current restyling of the packaging, with its unadorned sobriety, doesn’t, for what it’s worth, meet our taste, we are pleased to note that, for the moment, the Finish series has remained unchanged.
To the eye, the whisky is a warm golden colour with absolutely inviting pinkish reflections.
On the nose, the influence of sweet wine is clear: notes of Muscat wine, accompanied by a strong strawberry scent, on a background of violets. After a few moments, an impression of ripe figs appears. And as the distillate rests further in the glass, a delicious eggnog emerges.
In the mouth, a malty, buttery biscuit fragrance embraces a milk chocolate sprinkled with sultanas. The hint of strawberries becomes faint. The zabaglione also arrives a little later.
The medium-long finish retains notes of sweet fruit and, last but not least, eggnog.
A cask finish of suave sweetness, very successful also because of the total absence, both on the nose and on the palate, of alcoholic annoyance.
Of course, peat lovers will turn up their noses, but any fan of good whisky should not miss this splendidly balanced and harmonious Arran.