[Review] Arran - 13 years old Distillery Exclusive 57.1%

Arran 13 with Lochranza Castle in the background

Today, I am reviewing a bottle I should have reviewed a while back now. In April 2019 I headed out to the Isle of Arran with a few friends and after some very picturesque hikes, we stopped at the distillery for a tour and a tasting. Both were absolutely fantastic and I left with a bottle of 13 year-old Arran, exclusive to the distillery shop.

Arran is know for using many types of casks, from sherry, to wine but I wanted to go back to the essence of the spirit with this ex-Bourbon cask. Distilled on 20/05/05, the spirit spent over 13 years in a Bourbon barrel before being bottled on 14/11/18. This is bottle 115/194 and is of course unchillfiltered, natural colour and cask strength (57.1%)

My tasting notes:

Nose: Fruity and sweet, honey, fresh fruit (peach and grapes), vanilla, oak, raisins, caramel, some floral hints as well (jasmine and orange blossom) A very promising start!

Palate: Pretty big, fruity and spicy, some bitterness, starburst sweets, toffee, oak spice, toasted oak, slight grapefruit, barley sugar, fizzy, some nuttiness too. Quite a chewy mouthfeel. Delicious!

Finish: malted barley sweetness, pineapple, tropical fruit, drying oak spice, toasted oak again. Slightly dusty/gristy with hazelnut notes.

With water: The nose is creamier and sweeter with more caramel notes and red fruit (strawberries). The palate becomes sweeter too, quite fudgy with vanilla and some spice kicking around still. The finish is nutty, dusty, toasted oak and spicy.

Wow, what a dram. Arran have received a lot of praises for their whisky in the last couple of years and when you drinking whiskies like this one, you can really see why. I guess I only have one regret with this one, and that's I didn't purchase a second bottle!

Slainte all!


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