Arran Small Batch, peated Sherry 54.2% ABV.

arran small batch

Royal Mile whiskies & Drinkmonger Exclusive bottling, 960 bottle outrun.

arran single malt

Great malt whisky is a distillation of the place it’s made. The local water, microclimate and air quality all influence the spirit as it’s distilled and matured. Isle of Arran whisky couldn’t come from anywhere else but this wee rock, of twenty miles by ten. Our whisky is the island, bottled.

This geography is key to the character of our whisky. On this island, we make a spirit that reflects a range of regional influences, yet achieves a rare and unique personality all its own. Rather like the island itself.

Arran Whisky

Appearance

Burnished copper/chestnut in colour, it’s so deep. It beads up on the swirl line and drops syrupy slow thick legs.

Nose

Ooosh that’s a fair ABV, it’s fizzy up my nose for starters, and we have a mix here of cooked meats over an open fire and those lovely warming Sherry spices.

Even though it’s spent a decent amount of time in a Sherry hogshead (6 Years), the cooked meats and ash still come through quite strongly, at 20 PPM there’s a good amount in here. I’m not sure where the peat came from but I’m definitely getting a medicinal note, i’d say it’s more Germoline than TCP but again it’s quite prominent. I noticed that this dram clouds up in the glass with no water being added, i’m pretty sure iv’e not had that happen before.

Other than the peat/ash and meatiness, I get dates, Dr Pepper fizzy drink, and I’m going to say cranberries, perhaps even strawberries. A faint touch of menthol comes forward, with bbq sauce, some earthiness and dunnage.

Palate

Straight in with a super syrupy mouthfeel, and instantly we’re into peat, ash, and smoke territory, there’s lots of it, none of that “is it or isn’t it peated” lark, it’s everywhere. Lots of red berry sweetness comes along, dark chocolate coated strawberries and blood oranges bring the fruit notes, cask char, cloves, dates, chilli’s, and star anise bring plenty of spices.

There is a little drying, but it’s minimal, and there’s NO SULPHUR! I feel like a victory dance is due tbh, 6 years in a sherry hogshead and not a hint of sulphur, i think the sherry hogshead was a good one. Raisins come through late on the palate, just before the finish.

The mouthfeel is one of the best I’ve experienced in a whisky, coats the whole mouth and stays like it, it’s sticky and syrupy, fantastic.

F – Really quite long, warming, inviting and enveloping, like a cuddle from a loved one. Lots of spices, but has some sweetness too, pineapple cubes coming through, and icing sugar, perhaps lemon sherbet too. A late flourish of cough candy/aniseed twist sweets closes the finish, a super finish.

I have to say that this dram is full on all the way through, from the start and right until the end.

My thoughts

Well for just over £60 this is a big dram, lots of peat/ash going on, with plenty more to offer, it’s no one trick pony that’s for sure, it’s a veritable party in the mouth, and i’d say it’s one for the slightly more experienced whisky drinker, there might be too much going on for a real whisky novice.

Would i buy a bottle?

Oh yes, i love this bottling, it’s deep, flavoursome, bold, engaging, i could very easily sit with a drop of this quite regularly and enjoy it every time i did.

Thanks to – Mark (awesomebarrett1) for the sample, its a belter in my humble opinion.

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