I really should pace myself as I am at the risk of running out of whisky to review in a few days time…but I simply could not resist. I suppose I’ll slowly acquire some more and the reviews will trickle in, or I’ll start reviewing beer or other spirits. Maybe, gasp, even wine! For now however, I am pleased to begin indulging in some Arran Bourbon Single Cask. According to the bottle, the Distillery Manager himself inspects the casks maturing in the warehouses on Arran and chooses those “that have developed the most interesting and individual character”. These are then bottled as single cask editions. These appear to be done in very limited quantity. So much so that my bottle includes handwritten information regarding its contents. The cask number on mine reads 115. The bottle number is 60/178. The distillation date is 19/07/1999 with a bottled date of 21/07/2011. Whomever wrote this had excellent penmanship. The alcohol content, again hand inscribed, is 55.5% alcohol by volume.
The Arran is a new player established in 1995 according to the bottle and appears to be the only distiller on the island of Arran. I really should buy more from this distiller to explore how their products develop as the distillery itself matures.
As for the product in the bottle, it is quite pale in colour and transparent to the point where I can easily read text through it. This is the palest whisky I have tried to date.
The legs run quick and thin.
On the nose, it’s quite sweet and floral with some orange notes
The tongue gives a chewy feel to it, with notes of orange and sweetness. Still quite floral. But deep, rich, chewy.
The finish is orangy as well, long and satisfying, tranforming into something like dried tangerine before disappearing.
Some water expands the smell and adds a hint of spice to it.
On the tongue, it is still chewy. Still orangy, but slightly more deep and dark. Rich.
It fades much the same however.
This is an easy drinking whisky. I highly recommend it just for the chewiness of it. I have never tasted a drink that gave such a sensation. The fact that these are limited issues and can change over time could also make this a whisky you will want to keep aside and break out every once in a while to compare an Arran single cask to a later edition. It may even be a collector’s edition. Ultimately, it is made to be enjoyed and this is a great whisky overall. I believe it is also quite reasonably priced, so if you can find it pick it up…and one for me. Note that the newer casks appear to be bottled at 46% alcohol by volume. I have not seen the sherry cask version in quite some time, so if you happen across it, please let me know. I remember it as being a few shades darker in appearance.