I got this bottle just to fill out an order. I like Arran a lot and figured that this might prove a good addition to my cabinet. It’s partially matured in quarter casks, so younger, but more wood contact. Given Arran’s good performance at a young age it wasn’t too much of a gamble. An added bonus is that this is cask strength.
No age statement here. I can kind of understand the logic even though I don’t agree with it when it comes to not putting an age statement on whiskies matured in smaller casks. Because of the increased wood contact you can’t mature them for as long, or you’ll just end up with wood juice, and the average consumer might be put off by paying more for a 4-5 year old small cask matured whisky than a 10 year old whisky matured the regular way. But I don’t think this malt targets the average consumer.
As Serge from whiskyfun.com says, if it doesn’t come with an age statement it comes with a story, and this one’s story is all bout the bothy, essentially a kind of traditional Scottish shed or cabin used for shelter in remote areas and where farmers and illegal distillers would often distill their spirits in the 18th and 19th centuries. So this whisky’s use of quarter casks is supposed to be a throwback to those good old days, etc. etc.
Aged 3 years*. 55.7%ABV. Matured in first fill bourbon and quarter casks. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength.
*for lack of age statement.
EDIT: Louisa from Arran (the distillery, although probably the Island too) got in touch with me via twitter and informed me that the actual age is around 8 years, 6 years in first fill bourbon and 2 years in quarter casks. I’d like to see an age on the bottle, but I really appreciate the distillery reaching out and disclosing the age too, increased my respect for an already well respected distillery.
Nose: Quite floral. Tropical fruits. Candied Pineapple. Dessicated coconut. A light woody note, light cinnamon and sandalwood. Vanilla. Semi-sweet white wine. Jaffa cakes. Waxy citrus peels.
Palate: Floral. Woodspice. Sweet pears. Bitter oranges. Tropical fruits. White wine tannins. Citrus bitters
Finish: Long. Bitter wood. Tropical fruits. Stewed pears. Peaches n’ cream flavoured oatmeal.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This is a great representation of the essence of this distillery. The young Arran spirit works so well with first-fill bourbon and the quarter cask maturation just accentuates the woody spices and vanilla notes. I really don’t know why there wasn’t more hype surrounding this one, but I’m sort of glad for that as I was able to get hold of a bottle for around 50EUR.