Arran

Review: The Arran Port Cask Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
50%
Aging
~8 Years, Finished in a port cask
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Arran (Lochranza, Scotland)

An Arran, initially matured in “traditional whisky casks” before finishing. I assume that is just refill cask, but it could be just about any of your standard casks. As with a lot of the lower end Arrans, it’s priced pretty reasonably for what it is.


Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2020

The base notes of arran are so nice – malty, light spicy, with some nice white pepper, apple, and fresh peach. It is just as you might expect – the port layers on fruit and spice in a very pleasant fashion. The layer of richness is very nice. On the palate, lightly oaky, sweet, with orchard fruits and a nice spicy, malty finish. The finish is fruity with a touch of spice. Dried fruits seem to carry the finish forward for a little while.

Very nice!

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average against the whisky market in general. High for Scotch.


Review: Arran The Bothy Quarter Cask by Jason Hambrey

ABV
56.2%
Aging
Ex-bourbon for 7 years, finished in quarter casks for another 2 years
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Arran (Lochranza, Scotland)

A fairly cheap cask strength version of a single malt, going the route of finishing in quarter casks - given the woody influence of smaller casks combined with the ABV (which brings out more of the oak on the nose), you’d expect an oakier Scotch.


Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2020

This has a very pleasant oakiness, with nice bourbon notes, apple, fresh peach, vanilla, a nice grassy barley character, and a touch of clove. It doesn’t disappoint on the palate either, with the fruits being very well supported by the oakiness. It’s big at cask strength – medium bodied – but the oak, sweetness, fruit, and grain are just about perfect for this percent of alcohol. So, the balance is there, the flavours are good – and this is pretty great Scotch, especially at this price (if you like higher ABV scotches).

A nice pairing for an amber beer, too.

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, against whisky as a whole – Scotch has trouble competing on a value basis. But, at $91, it’s hard to get a better cask strength single malt than this one.


Review: The Arran Aged 10 Years Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Arran 10 1.jpg
ABV
46%
Aging
10 Years
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Arran (Lochranza, Scotland)

This, in my view, should be a staple of single malt drinkers. Solid quality, and a great price, and a great ABV for the whisky. It’s been a winner at multiple tastings of mine.


Review (2020)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L 09 10 18 3 10:14 BB

  • Bottling Date: 2018

Lots of orchard fruit, orange peel, and cinnamon on the buttery nose, also a nice sharp grainy character and very light smoke and oak. With time, there is some really nice dried tropical fruits that come forth – and it takes water very well. Quite pleasant, with a few surprises hidden within– like dried mint! Nice maltiness and a nice touch of earthiness. The palate brings out more of that tropical fruit, black tea, and a nice herbal quality to it and nice spices to finish. And, notably, some fresh ginger – I don’t find that often. Quite grassy, too, with a drying finish. Really quite a lovely, well-rounded dram. The 46% is terrific, too.

A very pleasant surprise!

Ido like my Glenmorangie 10 for my “cheap” scotch – but this one offers a great whisky for 28% less of the price (in Canada, that is). And, it’s a bit more dynamic. This might have to become my “casual”
single malt

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High. A rare Scotch that makes it into the „high” value category! A staple in my home.