I took a flier on this one. It’s not very often I buy whiskies this young anymore, but from time to time I need to inject a little perspective into the site beyond the often high end whiskies I am fortunate enough to try. I tend to practically leap at any opportunity to taste and write-up some of the more ‘entry level’ offerings. And $50 for an age-stated, unfiltered 46% malt is not a bad deal anyway. This bargain was sweetened up a little more with the addition of a couple of bespoke tasting glasses snugged into the grossly oversized box that this bottle came in. Neat little glasses too, but that’s incidental to what we’re here for.
Arran has really come into its own in the past couple of years. The distillery now has a house style, a mature range of malts and a reputation that gets better by the day. For a while I was nervous that they seemed to be more interested in novelty releases and odd finishes than in just turning out true ‘stand-the-test-of-time’ Scotch whisky, but they’ve managed to put my mind at ease and turn out a few back to basics releases that are truly of world class calibre. I think I’ve said it here before: I can’t wait to try Arran at 25 or 30 years on.
But let’s forget the old and expensive for now and raise a glass (well…another one anyway) to finding a real gem in the lower rungs of the pricing ladder. I can’t even pretend to not be excited about this one. It’s a rare treat to find such an appealing young unpeated dram. It’s a great showing for Arran and bodes extremely well for the future of this still fledgling distillery. I think this may well be one of my favorite young whiskies now. Easy and appealing.
Seems a good time to grab a few before the price goes up or the quality drops.
Nose: Lovely nose. Light and fruity. Soft and creamy…like a banana cream pie. Sweet and incredibly appealing. Some black currents, ginger and a dusting of old pepper (none too fragrant). Orange and apple. A little bit of white chocolate. Chewy fruit candies. Apple and plum skins. Can’t over how soft and custardy the nose is.
Palate: Not as spectacular as the nose, but solid…very solid. Some softly herbal Sauvignon Blanc notes. Orange again. Creamy with some nice spice notes. A squeeze of lemon. Some sort of pudding. Bread pudding, maybe. Quite some zip and zing here…really gets the tastebuds singing. Could be an almost light fudgy note too. And a little oak.
Thoughts: If only the palate could stop stepping on the toes of the nose…this would be a real showstopper. As it stands, still a brilliant example of entry level whisky.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt