Arran distillery was first founded back in 1994 but due to a pair of Golden Eagles nesting on a nearby cliff operations were halted for a short period resulting in the distillery not opening until 1995. The island of Arran has had a chequered past with possibly around 50 or so distilleries once operating on this small Island at some point in the past although most would have been illegal/ moonlight the last legal distillery would have closed back in 1837..
The Arran distillery just seems to be going from strength to strength with some fantastic official and independent bottles gaining very high praise so when the latest batch of single cask offerings from Family owned Claxton’s were announced to me and the name of Arran was included on the list I just licked my lips at the prospect of trying it..
A few days ago the package arrived and there it was, a 20 year old Arran from a single hogshead, distilled on the 2-9-1996 and bottled in 2017 at a cask strength of 50.3% abv and is of course natural colour with NCF, as all of Claxton’s bottling are !! This Arran is part of the first release in 2017 for Claxton’s who have plans to try to triple last years outturn in 2017 as long as they can find the right casks, and ones that that are happy to release under the Claxton name..
Nose.. Gentle spices fuse with fresh fruits and subtle notes of oak and malt.. A little tropical fruit surfaces in the form of pineapple and banana and a hint of green apples, pears and citrus peels.. Sugar puffs, cinnamon buns and honey bring in a little sweetness along with a soft milk chocolate note..
Palate.. The oak and spices are more prominent at first with those tropical fruit notes, honey and chocolate giving this a nice balance.
Finish.. Spices with a fruity twist..
Thoughts.. It didn’t disappoint !!
A very well balanced whisky with plenty to think about and an extremely fresh and inviting nose.. This is definitely one that will sit very well when entertaining good friends or even something to bring out after dinner when you just feel like relaxing with something special..
Once again my thanks go out to Adrian at Claxton’s for the sample.