Origin: Isle of Arran (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry Oloroso
Added coloring: No
Owner: Isle of Arran Distillery
Average price: € 40.00
Official website: www.arranwhisky.com
One of the distinctive features of Arran’s production is its willingness to experiment. In its twenty-five years of existence, the distillery has in fact bottled a significant quantity of single casks, destined for the various markets, with rather bold finishes or integral ageing, at least on paper, in ex-Pinot noir or ex-Calvados casks, for example, with different levels of peat and sometimes cask strength. It should come as no surprise, then, that the packaging rethink, put in place from 2019, has been accompanied by a reorganisation of the core range with significant additions, including NAS and age-stated whiskies, and a substantial overhaul of historical ageing.
And today we have the opportunity to taste Arran’s ‘new’ 10yo.
The result of a blend of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks, with final ageing of 9 months in ex-Sherry oloroso casks, it’s bottled at 46% ABV in its natural colour and without chill filtration. As Global Brand Ambassador, Mariella Romano, told us at the end of March, the whisky contains a portion of distillate matured for 11 or 12 years, because the 10yo stocks were apparently not sufficient.
The colour is a light amber reminiscent of iced tea.
On the nose, the entry is on sweet notes of caramelised almond, hazelnut, eggnog and milk chocolate, with a scent of vanilla in the background, while the typical Arran fragrances are found in the hints of ripe pear and candied ginger. At times, the overall smell makes us think of a sweet fried ravioli filled with apricot jam. Just enough time to catch an unexpected whiff of firewood and a delicate scent of orange blossom reaches the nostrils. As the minutes go by, the sensation of freshness grows, with the floral impression and the note of ginger increasing in intensity.
The opening is sparkling: we find ginger on the shield, and zabaglione, hazelnut and milk chocolate playing a mouth-watering leading role. A citrus note of yellow orange and a taste of ripe apricot ensure a balance between sweet and fruity, paving the way for an extremely enjoyable medium-long finish of ginger and milk chocolate.
While the previous 10yo was mostly herbaceous, this new version pushes the sweetness pedal. But without overdoing it: the obvious contribution of the casks blends perfectly with the typical flavours of the Arran distillate in an inviting whisky with excellent value for money.
Reviews of Arran whisky in the blog:
Arran Barrel Reserve
Arran Machrie Moor
Arran Sherry Cask “The Bodega”
Cadenhead’s Arran 22yo
The Arran Malt 10yo
The Arran Malt 18yo
The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finish
The Arran Malt Côte-Rôtie Cask Finish
The Arran Malt Sauternes Cask Finish