About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Monday, 6 January 2014


Its review time again - this time we head for the Isle of Arran and I'll be review a distillery bottling that (again) goes to show that this distillery has potential.

If you have a look at a place like whiskybase.com (probably the most comprehensive online whisky database) you'll get a rather huge list of Arran bottlings, many of them single casks like the one I'll be reviewing today. They've done almost as many cask finishes as Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay (sorry, thats just joke - no one has done as many as Bruichladdich, but Arran sure is a contender for the title).

Some finishes has of course been more successful than others - whiskybase is also a good base of information on this and my personal recommendation is for you to stay clear of the champagne finish and instead go and stry some of the Amarone cask versions - especially the first one(s).

Next year -in 2015- the distillery reaches its 20th year, so we're still dealing with a, in whisky terms, a newer distillery but they are sure on the right track and are still releasing whisky with age statements on the labels (hint, hint!)

Other great ones to look out for are these two:
http://goo.gl/j26cO1 and http://goo.gl/kCasfS

Today, however, its back to basics with an Arran from a ex-bourbon cask.

The gleaming brass spirit safe at the Isle of Arran Distillery, August 19th 2012 © The Malt Desk
Isle of Arran 1998 11yo (11.06.1998/16.02.2010) 57,8%, ex-bourbon cask#713, 214 bottles, Distillery bottling

Colour is full gold

Full on creamy vanilla, apple and fresh danish pastry. After some time, distant notes of nutmeg, a nip of warming oak and fresh smell of a field after a rain shower. Also just a hint of scented (floral) hand soap (in a good way)

Mouth watering and lip smacking, delicious trademark good quality bourbon cask matured whisky. Of course, its also heavy on the oils as Arrans usually are. Thick malt, a veriety of garden fruits, honey and ginger too. Finishes on a more peppery spice note - especially if a little water is added. Very mouth filling and satisfying, this one!

A very good malt from one of Scotland's younger distilleries.

Finally, thanks to Kalle for the sample!


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