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.
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.
Whiskybroker Arran 2010 – Mark’s review
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.
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.