Last Friday I went to an all Arran tasting, what the heck, I was the organiser (with some help from DH17) of this tasting. For me it was the first time to host an event and it won’t be the last. The tasting was part of a “Getting to know each other” event for the newly founded Whiskyclub Bergen op Zoom (working title). The founder, hmmmm….. Well it is me! The evening was a great success, thirty enthusiasts came for the presentation of the plans and off course for the whisky, at the start of the evening there were 2 members, at the end there were 26, so it was a great success. But this is not the purpose of this blog so let us talk whisky. As stated it was an all Arran Tasting, the line-up consist of four whiskies out of the four core ranges of Arran, but as I was hosting the event my notes are quite short. The glasses used were Glen Cairn Small Glasses.
Arran Malt 10 year old 46%
The first one of the evening was this 10 year old as starter of the standard range. It is fully matured on bourbon casks. It has a nice light golden colour. Nose is somewhat resistant to open up, but after a while in the glass a gentle smell of flowers, light white wine, sweet, some star anise, and fresh citrus and off course vanilla. The taste is again reasonable soft and gentle, not overpowering and gives a fresh and crisp somewhat buttery feel in your mouth. The finish is somewhat short. A nice summer dram (If we had one over here..!)
Arran the Cask Finishes –Port Cask 46%
There are many rumours about the Cask Finishes Range of Arran and they aren’t usually that well. Colour a nice mid amber with a red glow. Difficult nose, but a distinct fortified wine smell is coming out. After a minute or so there will fruit on the nose, but the kind you will find in Marmalade, sweet, citrusy somewhat lemongrass. Taste somewhat sweet on its own not very great. Finish again quite short. I guess the best way to enjoy this is as an after dinner dram with some nice, in taste quite powerful cheese to accompanied with. No winner for me!
Arran Premium Sherry Cask dist. 11/12/96;btld 31/03/2011 cask 1996 bottle 157/214 54,7%
The newest ones in the range of Single Cask. Wow this is different, a beautiful sherried nose appears and I liked it very much. The dried fruits, but also the freshness of the 10 year old are greatly balanced in this dram. The velvety mouth feel and the nutty flavours are definitely of my liking. Needs a revisit soon (I have a leftover of this one), so there will be a follow-up on this one!
Arran Sleeping Warrior 2000-2011, 10 years old, 54,9%
This is a vatting of single malts matured in ex-sherry, bourbon and red wine casks. Again there is a somewhat red glow added to the colour. The nose is playful with the distinct flavour styles of the bourbon, sherry and red wine casks, without any fighting. The touch of the Red Wine casks brings balance. It is fruity, distinct and has a great balance! (Same here, I have a dram left in the bottle so there will be a revisit soon)
Well the Port Cask is the resonant in this line-up, the 10 nice summer dram, not too simple and needs time. Then the last two, they are mature, full bodied and balanced drams of this young distillery. The winner for me is the Premium Cask closely followed by the Sleeping Warrior.