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Whiskybroker Arran 2010

There’s something wholesome and satisfying about purchasing a bottle that has everything you need on the label and doesn’t come with any additional packaging or waffle. The Whiskybroker has always strived to keep things simple. This ethic applies to the whisky as well, with a natural presentation and the emphasis on value.

This focus on value matches well with the Arran distillery that tends to bottle at a more realistic pricing level than other competitors. The recent revamp of the core range in 2019 was pleasing from the point of view of the whisky and the asking price. A revamp that delivered and avoided the pitfalls that we’ve seen recently from the likes of Balblair, Glenrothes and Pulteney. A good balance of value and the experience was attained, proving it can be achieved.

So, on paper, we have symmetry between Arran and the Whiskybroker in offering that sense of value and asking for a fair price. If you followed us throughout 2019, you will remember the spotlight we had on independent bottlers from across the globe. Taking things that step further and interviewing those behind the brands and their love of whisky. Maybe, that might be a good theme to pick up with a new selection? I haven’t shopped as much as I used to at the Whiskybroker and that’s just a reflection of the sheer range of bottlers in the market now. Infrequent online visits, confirms a wide range of distilleries and cask types available online with many well below £80. If you’re looking for a no-thrills bottler then it is hard to better what’s being released down in Wigtownshire.

I recall, an indie bottler actually moaning to me about the prices being charged, as being too cheap, which from some competitors is understandable. However, this critic was (and still is) charging slightly more than I’d like to see in a very competitive market. In a bouyant market, there is room for everyone and ultimately we as consumers, will decide what price is acceptable.

The Whiskybroker is the go-to option for many independent bottlers nowadays who source their casks and then utilise the storage facilities. With COVID-19 we’ve all noticed a slowdown in independent releases with some firms going into hibernation such as Cadenhead’s, or others that rely on a 3rd party warehouse such as Boutique-y and the Archives, having to wait until safer working methods are put in place, or a return to normal is established.

On the flipside, we’ve also seen the benefits of bottlers who are able to warehouse, bottle and ship their own product. Signatory seem to have unleashed a torrent of releases and no doubt have benefited from the lull of other indies, also Adelphi has managed to release during this COVID-19 environment. Such infrastructure doesn’t come cheap, but in times like these, you can see the benefits of having most of your facilities inhouse and not reliant on 3rd party companies.

This Arran was distilled on 16th February 2010 before being bottled on 17th April 2020, at 10 years of age. The 1st fill bourbon barrel #40 resulted in 254 bottles at 56.8% strength with an asking price of £47.50. We purchased this release thanks to our Patreon supporters, who ensure this place meets its bills and the little left over can be utilised to broaden our coverage.

Whiskybroker Arran 2010 – Jason’s review

Colour: light gold.

On the nose: vanilla, sweetcorn, creamy with apples and orange peel. A dusty aspect, pinewood, lemon oil and honey. Water reveals syrup, nougat and melon.

In the mouth: a lovely fruit sweetness, vanilla wafers, apples, more honey, sugary leading into lemon and orange zest. Adding water showcases more melon and caramel.

Conclusions

This is a very easy sipping whisky. Armed with just enough detail and a price that is more than fair for the experience. A winner in all books I’d expect. And while the development isn’t fantastic or layered, I’d reach for this most evenings for a burst of sunshine and summer. An ideal pick me up given the current lockdown situation and a reminder of how pleasurable whisky can be without spending a fortune.

Score: 5/10

Whiskybroker Arran 2010 – Mark’s review

Colour: gold.

On the nose: vanilla. Lots of vanilla. Vanilla vanilla vanilla. Opens up into green apples and a few estery touches. Lime cordial, elderflower. All of that fades to leave lots of basic straw barn notes. White wine vinegar appears once the glass has largely been emptied: an unwelcome tartness.

In the mouth: vanilla! It actually echoes the nose quite accurately: more of the same with that dusty quality, which manifests as grassy, vegetal, light and citrusy. Chalky, almost – a quality that just about makes this interesting texturally. Green apples, yes, but hints of floral honey.

Conclusions

I dunno. It’s just so a shade bland. I mean perfectly serviceable, and all that, but just hard to get excited about. Why would you rush out to purchase this? I couldn’t exactly say.

Score: 4/10

CategoriesSingle Malt
  1. Avatar
    Mark says:

    I’ve bought a good few of their bottles this year and find them to be a bit of a mixed bag. Never bad whisky but sometimes a bit meh, but for the price I can’t really complain. The highlights have been the 17 year old Speyside and the 14 year old tomintoul. The Speyside was a difficult whisky to get to grips with and even a few to many drops of water made it go bitter as hell. Where as the tomintoul can take a good bit of water and seems to taste different every time I have one. Their 8 year old blend smells awful but tastes half decent. The 12 year old North British grain is great value but I feel the cask hasn’t worked as fully as they’d like. Their 3 year old rum which has sold out was extremely industrial smelling but tastes outstanding.

    I’ve been spoiled this year with having a bottle of the old benromach 100 proof and the current cask strength, both of which are some of the best whisky I’ve drunk and when I think for £10 or £15 more I can buy a bottle where I know that what I’m getting is excellent full flavored whisky that tastes the same ever time I go back to it.

    1. Jason
      Jason says:

      Hi Mark

      Yeah, that variety and single cask ethic is part of the appeal to some. Obviously, some good and minus points when pursuing such purchases. The Benromach is always a good shout and of course, Gordon & MacPhail pretty much keep everything to themselves, ensuring consistency.

      Cheers, Jason.

  2. Avatar
    Jetse de Vries says:

    Don’t know about the Whiskybroker–on their website I see they charge 16 pounds for shipping to The Netherlands–but I can say that I was happily surprised by Arran’s The Bodega (which you reviewed in October 31, 2019, but only became available two weeks ago in my neck of the woods): a complex, spicey whisky for a good price (58 euros).

    1. Jason
      Jason says:

      Hi Jetse

      That was a solid Arran and one of the better relaunches last year with some realistic pricing, which has to be applauded.

      Worth keeping an eye on the Whiskybroker, does have some interesting casks now and again but they tend to sell out promptly.

      Cheers, Jason.

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