ARRAN 12YR CASK 106.4PF 750
Item: #102739
Bottle Size: 750ml


I've always been a big fan of Arran, and it's a shame that not a lot of people know about this brand. I wish more people were more exposed to this Arran, since it's the "little guy" in the whisky world. Some major Scotch brands can pump up to 20 million litres per year, but the last time I heard from a representative of this product, Arran was producing 400,000 litres per year. There are only 4 guys working at this distillery. They are sourcing their barley from the mainland of Scotland in the Speyside region-- none of the expressions are smoky with the exception of the Arran Machrie Moor. This comes from 5 first-fill sherry butts, 13 second-fill sherry hogsheads and 31 bourbon barrels. (And, yes, even though it's sourced from multiple casks it is still classified as a single malt, for those who are new to Scotch).

I saw this one sitting on the shelf and luckily, one of my patrons took a chance and bought a bottle and he gave me a sample of it. So, I was pleasantly surprised and blown away to find a cask strength single malt for this price point. In my humble opinion, my top 4 cask strength single malts in this price point would include Aberlour A'bundah, Auchentoshan Valinch, Signatory Tamdhu 8 Year (if you can find one out here on the west coast) and this gem.

Nose (Neat): Hints of grass, orange zests, fondat and almond paste. Surprisingly there's no varnish and heat on the nose for something so bold. With a few drops of water, hints of orange cream, black cherries and marzipan arise. In addition, I get aromas of ketel corn and oak Flavor (Neat): On the palate, I get initial tones of grass that lead to a creamy, malty finish. It's nutty, warm and inviting. And, of course, without water, it packs a punch. But the fun thing about this one is that I cannot detect any varnish or nail polish tones. It's so clean! It's true to its malty from, and there are hints of tannin and red fruits during the third sip. With a few drops of water, I get a clean, malty flavor that reminds me of having a Caol Ila Stitchell. As it sits in the glass it peaks up spice and it tastes of black cherries with hints of orange zest and cream. Finish: Vanilla and Cream linger on the finish and it rides for a few minutes. With a few drops of water, the finish is much drier, lending itself to a nutty kind of aftertaste that eventually leads to dark coffee tones.. Overall: I was really excited about tasting this. I think if you like Aberlour A'bunah or even a Glendronach 18 Year Allardice (granted it's 92 Proof and not as high as this Arran Cask Strength), I think you will enjoy this. I hope that you'll take the time to explore Arran expressions and buy this one.- Linh Do
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