[Review] Arran - 24 years old (Vintage Bottlers) 51.6%

Photo courtesy of Vintage Bottlers ltd

More from Vintage Bottlers today with their first named release: a sherried 24 year-old Arran. As I mentioned in a previous post, Vintage Bottlers are a new independent bottler, which are not looking at young cheap whisky but only “the very best whisky Scotland has produced, past and present”, as stated on their website. After a Secret Highland (Clynelish) 30 years old, this Arran 24 is also a big boy!

Arran has only started production in 1995, so with this one, we are looking at whisky produced in the first couple of years of production, some of the oldest Arran around at the moment. All I know about the cask however is that it was an ex-sherry cask.

All I have is a 5cl sample of it sent to me by the guys at Vintage Bottlers but the colour (natural) is pretty dark (walnut), the whisky has not been chillfiltered and is bottled at 51.6% (cask strength I presume)

My tasting notes:

Nose: Sweet, fruity, oaky, lots of vanilla, almonds, raisins, oak spice, cocoa powder, brown sugar, molasses, roasted hazelnuts, some milk chocolate, dark fruit (blackberries), dried apricots, slight orange peel, strawberries and leather too. What a start! I could spend hours just with my nose in the glass!

Palate: Not what I was anticipating from the nose, it is fruity, spicy and herbal. The dried fruit found on the nose have been rehydrated on the palate. It is no longer old and dusty but more vibrant and zesty! There is a mix of red berries, fennel, toasted almonds, some slight citrus, cola cubes, fresh oak, orange zest, some black tea and a little ginger heading into the finish. 

Finish: Not a big rich and bold finish but more of a subtle one with some nuances of hazelnut, dusty oak, dark chocolate, drying oak spice, bitter cocoa, some red berries in the background and hints of grapefruit too.

With water: The nose becomes way jammier with stewed strawberries, fresh oak, sweet apple compote, orange and less chocolate and dark fruit. The palate in rounder however and less zesty. There is blackberry, oak spice, still some aniseed and liquorice, slight prunes and strawberry jam. The finish is jammier as well with some extra dusty oak and hazelnuts. Water definitely opens up this one and presents an alternative dram here. Both with and without H2O are delicious even if I prefer the nose without and the palate with. It just shows it is always worth experimenting!

As far as the price is concerned, it is currently available on https://vintagebottlersltd.com/ at £295, which can be slightly pricy but with MALTCASK10 you get an extra 10% off (and it works for all their releases...!)

Thanks again to Vintage Bottlers for this delicious sample.

Slàinte all!


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