I feel like I’m seeing more and more rum cask matured whiskies around, which is great because rum is good, and whisky is good, and the combination of the right whisky with the right rum cask can be amazing. The problem I have is a lot of whiskies will just use something general like “Caribbean Rum”, but rum is a hugely diverse spirit with so many different character profiles so it can get bloody annoying, because not every type of rum cask would work with let’s say a light Speyside whisky.
Luckily this one did, it lists the rum cask as a “Barbados Rhum Barrel”. Bajan rums tend to be on light and sweet side, which from experience, works well with Arran. See? Information good, I now feel more confident in shelling out for a bottle (which I didn’t really do as this is from a bottle share).
Notably this is also quite old for an Arran, which only began distilling in 1995. I think this is the oldest Arran I have tried so far.
So let’s see what it does:
Aged 21 years. 50.6% ABV. Matured in a first-fill bourbon cask and finished for 4 years in a Barbados Rhum barrel. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask 17307.
Nose: Sweet fruits, mainly apricot. Slight musty note, like dunnage. Light wood. Malibu (that rum based coconut liqueur). French toast. Vanilla. Syrup.
Palate: Slightly bitter. Light wood. Brown sugar. Kiwi. Lime. Slightly waxy, slightly creamy, very odd, but good odd. A little fresh linen and simple syrup after a bit.
Finish: Long vanilla. Light wood. Candle wax. Apricot fruit leather. Woodspice. Wintergreen. French toast.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
I found this one quite weird, but very delicious. Dryness and sweetness work well together here, and the first fill bourbon and Bajan rum casks are very suitable for an Arran.