Origin: Isle of Arran (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrells: Ex-Sherry
Added coloring: No
Owner: Isle of Arran Distillery
Average price: € 140.00
Official website: www.arranwhisky.com
At last year’s Whisky Revolution Festival in Castelfranco Veneto, Arran presented to the Italian public not only the new packaging for its products but also several additions to its core range: three NAS (Barrell Reserve, Quarter Cask “The Bothy” and Sherry Cask “The Bodega”) and a 21yo that we are finally able to taste today.
This is a remarkable ageing for the distillery (only active since 1995), and it’s no coincidence that it has been launched as the spearhead of a production that, in our humble opinion, is already of a high level.
Matured entirely in ex-Sherry casks (we don’t know which type) and proposed at 46% ABV, the whisky hasn’t been chillfiltered and has no additional colouring. The label emphasises that the entire production process took place in Lochranza, capital of the enchanting island of Arran and headquarters of the distillery.
The colour is light amber.
The first impression on the nose is of wildflower honey and almond paste, with a hint of apple puff pastry and a scent that is still of apple, but fresh and slightly tart. We do not have time to enjoy the sweetness of apricot jam, enhanced by a spicy touch of cinnamon, when a hint of fortified wine, such as Marsala, appears on the horizon. At a distance, the apricots and spices (there is also a hint of ginger) grow in intensity, while a fragrance of bergamot mint stands out.
On the palate, the spices are noticeably livelier, with an unprecedented marjoram on the shield, accompanied by apple puffs, a puff of Chantilly cream and a scent of polished wood. What it loses in complexity compared to the nose, it gains in freshness.
The finish is of medium length on notes of polished wood and spices, again.
In spite of its 21 years of age, this is a whisky that is anything but stodgy, dynamic and a little naughty, with a sumptuous nose and a fresh palate.
Another excellent result for Arran, which confirms itself as a distillery to watch.
This review is dedicated to Francesca, who gave me a new life.