Monday, August 29, 2011

More romantic than memorable – Arran Whisky

Arran private bottling cask 96/535

Warming up for the next Distant Thunder Whisky Club social on Friday night at the Sydney Whisky Fair I have decided to get out my Arran private bottling for a renewed tasting.

The story behind the whisky is quite romantic. At one time there were over fifty distilleries on the Isle of Arran, however, they had all closed by 1837. After more then 150 years a new distillery was opened on the Isle in 1995.

Scotch whiskies have to be aged for a minimum of three years (although most are aged for longer), which gives new businesses a cash flow problem as they can't sell anything for years! The Arran distillery isn't unique in selling private barrels to generate some revenue before the whisky is ready to drink.

A friend of my aunt bought a barrel and she was kind enough to get me a bottle. The label states:
"The private owner's bottling is from a single cask produced at Lochranza Distillery on the Isle of Arran. Cask number 96/535 was filled in June 1996 and bottled in July 2007 without colouring or chill-filtration.."

Attracted by the story behind the whisky I was willing it to be good. However, as El Capitan pointed out expectations should really be checked by the fact that this was one of the first whiskies the distillery every made. There would inevitably be a learning process going on.

The whisky has a nice deep straw colour. There is a floral nose, definitely not complex. Light and refreshing.

At first taste there was a little bit of alcoholic shock (46%). Slightly buttery there are no distinguishing flavour notes. A short finish with no aftertaste. I tried cutting the whisky with water, but it didn't really change the flavour.

I hate to say it, but this might be a good non-descript whisky to mix with coke. It wasn't a bad whisky, just nothing really distinguishing about it.

I'd be interested to taste one of their more recent whiskies to see how the distillery has developed.

The Converted