Distillery: Isle of Arran
Expression: ‘Old and Wise’
Age Statement: 22 years old
Extra info: Cask number 55, bottle number 153/305
Distilled 07/02/1996, bottled 05/07/2018
Arran is one of those whisky’s that I have a weak spot for. One of the youngest distilleries in Scotland, but they seem to really know what they’re doing there. I haven’t tasted a disappointing Arran malt yet (I’m sure they’re out there, but I have yet to encounter one). This particular one is the ‘old and wise’, a 22-year old whisky that was aged in a sherry hogshead for 22 years. Judging by the color this must have been a refill cask, as it doesn’t look like a sherry-bomb to me. No matter, I find that Arran delivers quality in both ex-bourbon and sherry casks. This whisky was specially bottled for Van Wees, the importer of Arran in The Netherlands, and is one of their oldest expressions to date.
Nose: Light honey and orchard fruits. There’s apricot, apple, mandarin oranges. Then some sweet malt, more honey and perhaps some candied goods and vanilla sugar. A slight nuttiness too, but I like the fruitiness of this.
Taste: Good and malty, with the fruits at the front again. I smidgeon of white wine in the background, pastry and honey. More oranges and apples now, a slight metallic note. Even at 50,9% alcohol this isn’t sharp.
Finish: Roasted nuts, covered in honey, with dried apricots and apples. I still get that slight white wine quality, a fruity one at that. Medium in length I’d say, with lingering fruits and honey sweetness.
Overall: There’s no way around it; this is yummy. Aged in a sherry cask but definitely far from being a sherry bomb; the light fruits are proof of this. Interesting, well balanced and very enjoyable.
4 stars (86-90 range)