In the world of Scotch whisky, Arran is a wee babe. The distillery has no ancient heritage to tout to the world. It started from scratch in 1995.
To celebrate 15 years in business, Arran is releasing this special-edition whisky, distilled in 1999 (making it not 15 years old, as you might expect, but 11) and finished for two long years in Amontillado sherry casks. It’s already tough to find.
Very unusual nose here: Smoke, wood, orange zest, and an intense aroma of cloves. Those are not necessarily things that ought to go together, and all that time in sherry casks has clearly done a number on this malt. It’s all a bit much. Hot stuff, too: This cask-strength malt comes out at 109.2 proof.
With a little water you get more honey notes, and the finish takes a back seat, but the sherry lingers and plays a bit of havoc on the back of the palate. A real curiosity, to be sure, but you know what they say about what that did to the cat…
B- / $80 / arranwhisky.com