Arran 1996-2011 sherry cask 54.1%

Cask number 1973, distilled 11.12.1996, bottled 31.03.2011.


Nose: Apple compote with cinnamon, dark chocolate, fragrant roses. A little water adds mint, orange peel, jasmine and lemon.

Palate: Oak and apple peel, honey, black pepper and dark chocolate. More chocolate with water, orange marmelade and bay leaf.

Comments: Yet another stunning sherry cask from Arran. Confirms the rule that these are a steal at almost any price (this particular cask has not been available in Norway, but those that have have been just as good).

Thanks to Bjørn for the taster.

Arran Bourbon Cask 1996 Cask # 1038 56.1%

Distilled 21 August 1996, bottled 26 April 2005, bottle number 158 of 240.

arran_bc_1038Nose: Malt, a hint of menthol and juniper berries. After a while in the glass tart raspberries appear. Water opens for black pepper and tart pears and a hint of fruity chewing gum.

Palate: Malt, Vademecum, oaky bitterness. Water lessens the impression of Vademcum and develops into something vegetal.

Comments: I can’t remember the herby and spicy character being so strong before, but this is another bottle that has been left less than half full for a while. In this case, though, it’s a beneficial development. Very nice – and intriguing – nose, somewhat less interesting taste.

Arran 1997-2013 Sherry Cask #937 55.8%

arran_sherrycaskNose: Dried apricots, milk chocolate and thyme. Witn water I get honey, some lemon and malt. There’s also something flowery on the nose, tending towards lilacs without feeling too perfumy.

Palate: Orange marmalade and then bitter oak which softens substantially on its way through the mouth and becomes cream and milk chocolate on the finish. Fascinating. Water does not change that, but adds a floral note, and reveals malt on the finish.

Comments: This is the shit. The bee’s knees. I recently tried one of this year’s casks, presumably on its way to Vinmonopolet, and it was lovely as well. Quite simply one of the best buys at Vinmonopolet right now, at less than a thousand NOK. And since the importer is nice enough to list each cask separately (and believe me, that adds expense and work) you know exactly what you get when you order it.

Arran Sherrycask 1998-2014 cask #43 54.2%

Distilled 19 January 1998, bottled 10 February 2014.

Nose: Vanilla, citrus and flowery notes. Cinnamon and nutmeg with water, after a while green apples.

Palate: Vanilla and sap. A little more bitter with water, but also more depth. A hint of cigar smoke and spice.

Comments: A fantastic nose, and a nice taste. A little bitterness on the finish detracts, but overall a very, very nice dram and pretty much perfect on a warm spring evening in Trondheim. A good candidate for this year’s summer whisky.

Tasted half-blind. I knew the importer, but not the whisky. I’d never have guessed that this was from a sherry cask, but with hindsight I see that the spices and the cigar smoke are clues I should have picked up.