Arran 13yo Rum cask finish 54.4% ABV.

arran 13yo ex rum cask finished 54.4% abv

Distilled on Arran at the distillery in Lochranza, this Small Batch bottling was matured for 13 years, including five years in an ex-rum cask. It was produced as a distillery exclusive in 2020 having been bottled at a strength 54.4% abv. free from chill filtration and artificial colouring.

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This Arran island single malt whisky is light gold in colour, damp straw I’m thinking. The initially medium thick swirl line beads up almost immediately, and it drops medium thick legs.


There’s lots of Rum cask influence on the nose, definitely darker rum notes for me. Seared pineapple chunks, molasses, raisins, along with an earthiness. I’m presuming this is peated, as I am getting some, the rum cask is so strong at the moment.

The ABV seems to increase with time, I’m getting floral aromas, with juicy plums, a damp foresty feel too.

lochranza distillery - arran.


Fist up i’m getting something akin to peat, between that and the rum it’s a big dram, really is full on on the palate, ooosh, and it has a nice mouthfeel also. All the notes from the nose are here, ramped up with quite a lot of spiciness. Black pepper, cinnamon, and cumin. Bitter lemon also jumps in, and there is some drying coming across.

After sitting with it I’m getting some red berries coming through. Cranberries, raspberries and red currants I’d say. The spices do calm down a little eventually, and then I’m finding espresso, black liquorice, well toasted tea cakes, brownies and yes, Jamaican ginger cake.


The finish is quite long for me, warming 5 spices all the way, it really does linger nicely. Black tea is the last thing I get before the palate fades.

My thoughts

Arran whisky, In my opinion they produce great whisky, and iv’e yet to find one from them that i didn’t enjoy. I was pretty sure i’d like the spirit, but ex rum cask matured whisky can be a bit hit and miss in my experience with them. This particular distillery exclusive bottle was finished for 5 years in an ex rum for 5 years! Personally i’d have said it was a maturation period, not a finish, but there are no rules to say it is or isn’t, it’s just my thoughts on it.

Still, after 5 years, if it was a tired old rum cask it could still potentially be lacking in rum influence. That’s not what happened here, this is a huge rum bomb whisky. I found the rum influence so strong that if given this blind i may have said it was a rum. When i tasted this i swear i found peat in it, absolutely convinced of it to be honest, but i find no mention of peat in it’s description, odd, knowing this was from the Lochranza distillery and not Lagg.

Anyway, yes it’s a massive whisky, there’s so much going on, if a strong ex rum cask finished whisky is what you expect, this could very well be for you. If your’e after a lighter and sweeter ex rum cask finished whisky, this may be a little too much for your palate. Personally i loved it, i always hope an ex rum cask finish is strong, and i’d very happily have a bottle, absolutely no doubt about it.

This whisky was very generously gifted to me by my whisky friend Paul, Paul can be followed on Twitter using the buttons below.

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