Isle of Arran

   

Isle of Arran distillery was founded in 1995 when production started on 29th June of that year.

It is an independently owned distillery by the Isle of Arran Distillers Co. and is located at Lochranza on the Isle of Arran

The distillery was specifically located here to make use of what they claim is the purest water in Scotland, sourced from Loch Na Davie, high in the hills overlooking Lochranza.

 
 

Photo by Paul Birrell via Wikimedia Creative Commons License

 

More great distillery info here, thanks to Malt Madness

 

 

  Isle of Arran General whisky characteristics: Smooth and creamy    
   

Arran, 10y, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€ (70cl not mini)

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Very pale

Nose: Initially slightly pungent and nose burning, but this soon settles to warm leafy embers (without smoke) with hints of a very mild cheese

Palate: Very creamy popcorn, followed by a gentle explosion of creamy cheese, nuts, peaches and faint honey.

Finish: Long

Overall Impression: A very pleasant dram and nice to finally see the real character of Arran without the wine finishes.

 

   
   

Arran, 100 proof, 57% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€ (70cl not mini)

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light gold

Nose: Big. Slightly phenolic, reminds me of a superb 30y metaxa with nuts, summer fruits, wine and cognac.

Palate: Very smooth and creamy cocktail of apple, pear, papaya and marzipan, all engulfing the palate in a delightfully long and luxurious harmony.

Finish: Very long

With 3 drops of water: The nose now concentrates on phenolic wine and nuts. The palate is more marzipan and apple.

With 3 more drops of water: A weaker nose, but a more spicy palate with an even longer finish.

With 4 more drops of water: Weaker nose and now a less interesting palate. The previous 6 drops were enogh.

Overall Impression: I just found my favourite Arran. This is delightful.

 

   
   

Arran, Robert Burns, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€ (70cl not mini)

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Very pale

Nose: Farmyard barn with hay, straw, grasses, horses and even a little tractor tyre.

Palate: Very difficult for me to place, but something akin to vanilla ice cream with a yellow fruit sauce.

Finish: Long

Overall Impression: Pleasantly creamy and drinkable.

 

   
   

Arran, Machrie Moor, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

Dram-atics live review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Very pale straw

Nose: Fresh and slightly strange in a fruity ice cream kind of way. In fact I'm tempted to say slightly citrus ice cream with a hint of farminess.

Palate: Smooth and gentle ice cream, fruity with papaya, mango and melon alongside that farminess.

Finish: Long

Overall Impression: Peat? No not really. This is fruity and creamy with a farmy style, but then I did taste this at the end of an evening of dramming so I'll revisit it later with a fresher palate.

 

   

 

  Finishes      
   

Arran, Trebbiano D'Abruzzo, 56% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Nose: Dried fruits with cheese

Palate: Spicy grass or meadow with white chocolate. The flavour hits the palate, then recedes only to return once more before fading slowly.

Overall Impression: In the tasting, some people were not impressed with this dram, but if you like your whisky with a spicy tingle, slightly dry and a long finish, then go for it.

 

   
     

Arran, Cream Sherry, 54.3% ABV

Bottle No. 714 of 800

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Nose: Very complex. Perhaps a creamy cognac with a little sherry and overtones of malt all wrapped in a Christmas pudding.

Palate: Oh yes, the cream is there. As is the sherry. One of my first instincts was to say that I made the comment about Christmas pudding on the nose, but without any trace of custard. Funnily enough, this is so creamy I am very tempted to say that the custard is on the palate. Strange, I always associate vanilla notes with bourbon casks. But this is creamy sweet and almost gives the feeling of custard in texture and flavour. Somewhere in there is a nice whisky too.

With water: The custard and extreme cream have gone, leaving the cognac and whisky, with sherry elements. The finish is long and very reminiscent of cognac.

Overall impression: Every Arran I have tasted has been very different. This is no exception. Another success from Arran, but for me, preferably without the water, even though it's just over 54%. I think I'll have another.

Author's footnote: I would just like to add that on the second time around, without water, there's a lovely almond and gentle marzipan flavour in the aftertaste. I really do like this one.

 

   

 

 

Icons of Arran

     
   

Arran, Icons of Arran #1; The Peacock, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass; Classic Malt

Colour; 9 carat gold

Nose: Lots of citrus notes here, mainly orange and also including galia melon and a bouquet of fresh herbs which are very fresh indeed, but not quite mint.

Palate: Those citrus elements come through to the palate as orange, is there also a little kumquat? This is a very smooth whisky which suddenly hits the palate with a burst of liquorice which disappears as quickly as it appears.

With 3 drops of water; No liquorice, but it is even smoother and more creamy.

Finish; As the liquorice disappears from the palate it seems to leave a very slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall impression: Very nice. It really is a good example of mixing bourbon and sherry casks.

 

   
   

Arran, Icons of Arran #2; The Rowan Tree, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass; Classic Malt

Colour; Oak

Nose: Amazing and very different to the Peacock. This is much more assertive and rich with dark chocolate, raisins and just a touch of your typical working farmyard.

Palate: No sign of the farmyard, but the dark chocolate is prominent over the raisins and it's a smooth & creamy delight.

Finish; Long, creamy & silky

Overall impression: A delightfully silky whisky from those folk at Arran and I prefer this one over the Peacock. But then I never could resist smooth, creamy, silky chocolate!

 

   
 

         

Whisky & Chocolate (by Domori)

"Il Blend" 70% cacao. Light honey, caramel and a hint of tobacco; Although the honey of Il Blend does indeed blend well with the creamy elements of the Arran, the whisky tends to neutralise most of the flavours of the chocolate.

"Teyuna" 70% cacao. Bitter sweet, cashew nuts and a touch of honey; My first thought here is that the whisky has been given a very slightly nutty bitterness from the chocolate, but this isn't a bad thing, in fact it's a dimension to the palate which I think is an improvement. The finish is then long with elements of both whisky and chocolate once again combining well. Very Good!

"Sur del Lago" 70% cacao. Dark, rich, bitter sweet, seaside promenade; The sligthly bitter sea-front flavours of the chocolate make a very good partner to the creamy, sherry-influence of the whisky to rough it up a little and actually paint a more complete overall picture, as if a missing jigsaw piece was magically added. Very good!

 

 
   

Arran, Icons of Arran #2; The Rowan Tree, 46% ABV

A second tasting

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

Dram-atics "Advent-urous" live review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow gold

Nose: Lots of wood with hints of rubber.

Palate: Coffee cream, truffle, dark chocolate, sweet raisins and plums.

Finish; Long, slightly smoky chocolate

Overall impression: I still like this whisky and although some notes are the same as the first time I tried it, I definitely experienced a slightly different character this time around and if anything, I have also changed my mind in that I think I just prefer the Peacock
to the Rowan Tree.

 

   
 

 

Arran, Icons of Arran #3; distilled 1998, The Westie, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow gold

Nose: My initial thought here is of leafy woody vanilla as it has definite vanilla to the fore with a musty, even dusty woodiness in the background. After 2-3 minutes a fruitiness begins to develop which is mainly citrus, pineapple and lemon zest immediately springs to mind. It's also quite dry in a petit chablis kind of way, in fact it's almost in the style of a dry white sherry.

Palate: The citrus fruits immediately announce their presence on the palate which is considerably less dry and acidic than the nose. I'd say the palate is more Pouilly Fumé than Petit Chablis.

Finish; Long and fruity in that white wine kind of way.

Overall impression: Very light, very interesting, very pleasant and very drinkable. Perhaps an excellent aperitif before a summer BBQ in the garden.

 

 
 

 

Arran, Icons of Arran #4; The Golden Eagle, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale golden cork

Nose: Where the Westie was akin to dry white wine, this is more fruity red wine, maybe even almost blackcurrant juice. It also has a mustiness which reminds me of wet leaves on a forest road after a downpour. Some suggestion of freshly sawn wood too.

Palate: Really very solid, creamy and fruity. Quite sweet too in a marble cake kind of way. A faint nuttiness then appears which intensifies to remind me of some wonderful buttery hazelnut cake which is a speciality of a small region near the Black Forest in Germany.

Finish; Long, buttery, creamy and lightly nutty.

Overall impression: I love that buttery hazelnut cake. A most enjoyable whisky but a quite tame Golden Eagle.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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