Saturday, 3 March 2012

Whisky Discovery #39

Isle of Arran 10 Year Old (46%, OB, bottled 2011 5cl)
Island Single Malt Whisky
Circa £35 for 70cl

Just a taste of the Arran 10 Year Old
Now this discovery (and the next) was a real treat! A chance tweet catching the eye of The Isle of Arran Distillery who, after checking out my blog, said I ought to try their 10 Year Old and 14 Year Old whiskies and that they would put some samples in the post for me on the promise that I would write about them.

I was absolutely bowled over! A distillery getting in touch with me, a whisky novice, and then to send me some samples to help me out on my journey – just awesome! And all I had to do in return is drink, enjoy and write about my experiences! This journey is getting better and better.

Before tasting the whisky I decided I really ought to find out a little more about their story:

Arran is a unique island known as 'Scotland in Miniature', for it has all of the scenery of Scotland, with mountains and lowlands, glens, lochs and royal castles (including one at Lochranza). Early in the 19th century there were more than 50 whisky distilleries on Arran, most of them illegal and carefully hidden from the eyes of the taxmen. The malt from Arran was shipped to the mainland and enjoyed by the gentry who regularly "took the Arran waters". It was acclaimed at the time as the best in Scotland, only rivalled by those from the 'Glen of Livet'.

The Isle of Arran Distillery is one of Scotland’s new distilleries, founded in 1993 and starting production in 1995. It was the first legal distillery on Arran since 1837 Their 10 Year Old was officially launched in 2006, and lies at the heart of the Isle of Arran range exuding all the honeyed richness that is associated with the island distillery.

So what did I think?

A very pleasant medium-bodied, sweet citrus flavoured dram that I think must be classed as a great achievement from a distillery that only started producing whisky sixteen years ago. Remember by SWA rules the youngest whisky in this bottling must be ten years old and being from a young distillery won’t have the luxury of older stock to standardise each expression. It was very easy to drink, even at 46% ABV and feels light and fresh, it is non-chillfiltered and naturally coloured.

Colour: a golden white wine

Nose: a lovely fragranced nose, herbal cereal and sweet heather honey, salty sea air and a light oakiness

Palate: Light and fresh with a soft lemony vanilla sweetness and crisp green apples

Finish: A slightly bitter, although certainly not unpleasant malty finish. Very tempting!

This 10 year old is well worth trying out, I haven’t seen this core expression in the supermarkets yet, but it should be, as it can certainly stand amongst any of the others found there.

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