Review: Arran 13 year old private cask

In preparation of the forthcoming Arran Tweet Tasting event I thought it best I dig out a sample and see how things are progressing at the distillery. For those unaware Arran whisky has reached the impressive age of 18 and continues to prosper.

This sample comes via the Jolly Topper himself and is a private cask bottling from the distillery at 13 years of age. The sherry hogshead delivered 336 bottles after maturation and a robust 54.7% alcohol strength. Apparently this cask was selected from a field of 5 on offer for bottling; I really have to wonder what the other 4 were like as you’ll see.

Distillery: Arran
Distilled: 28th May 2001
Bottled: 6th November 2014 (13 years old)
Strength: 54.7% 
Cask: sherry hogshead
Outturn: 336 bottles

Colour: charred orange sitting in a copper pan

Nose: more candied orange, those classic sweeties known as refresher and coconut.

Taste: very drab and muted which makes me question the cask utilised as it seems tired. A little ginger, a little smoky rubber and honey sweetness. 

I waited a while in anticipation that this might coax some new hidden layers of complexity but this is a very straightforward (or is that average?) dramming experience. Not one that I can recommend and I’m sure Arran can do better as we’ll hopefully see next week.


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