Whiskybroker Arran 1997 25 Year Old Cask 290 & Arran 9yo cask #1855 (Aberdeen Whisky Shop)


We're starting the week with two single cask Arran's. 

Whiskybroker Arran 1997 25 Year Old Cask 290

Region: Highlands

ABV: 46.0%

Price: £85.00

This was distilled on 27 February 1997, and matured in a Sherry Butt for 25 years before being bottled on 21 June 2022. 519 bottles were released.

Nose

Initially we’re getting some Cointreau, chocolate, acetone, caramel, and lime. There’s a woodiness here that gives away its age. Going back to it and there’s orange jelly sweets, a slight must, butterscotch angel delight and brown sugar. It’s got a lovely nose, and we could spend all day here not taking a sip.

Palate

As the dram hits our tongue there’s a second before we register any flavours. Almost like we’ve taken a sip of water. After a second, notes of prunes, butterscotch sauce, caramel creme brûlée and slight ashy note appear. It’s still got a fair bite of alcohol even at 46% and we wouldn’t be surprised if this was bottled at cask strength. Dark chocolate, ginger and peppercorn spice linger on a good length finish. it has good mouthfeel even at this ABV. It’s good, but a touch one dimensional, with a lot of the notes we’d associate with Arran covered by the cask influence.

Nose (with water)

With water this remains fairly similar but the reduction has brought out a hint of smoke on the nose as well as accentuating the lime. There’s also some reduced raisins, caramel toffee, and Biscoff ice cream cones.

Palate (with water)

Reduced it’s developed a slight strawberry note on the finish. Mouthfeel remains relatively constant, but it seems a little hotter. We’re now getting lots of coffee, and honey. As we go back to it we notice a slight bitterness, and that it’s definitely hotter / spicier. We prefer this without water.

Conclusion

We loved the nose, and enjoyed the palate. There’s nothing technical wrong with this and If you like a Sherry forward dram this will be one for you, but for us its lost too much of the Arran spirit we enjoy. Saying that it was only £85 a bottle and easily achieves a 8/10 at that price.

Score: 8/10


Arran 9yo cask #1855 (Aberdeen Whisky Shop)

Region: Highlands

ABV: 54.6%

Price: £75.00

This was distilled on the 5th of October 2011, from barley peated to 50 ppm, and matured in a bourbon barrel for 9 years. Only 162 bottles were released exclusively for the Aberdeen Whisky Shop.

Nose

While there was hints of peat in the last dram this is most definitely peated. It’s quite a vegetal peat with hints of dirt and dead ash. We’re also getting notes of lavender, a touch of cherry blossom, lemon sherbet, and fruit salad sweets. It’s not as sweet as we were expecting and we’re not huge fans of the nose. Hopefully the palate saves this.

Palate

it’s quite spicy initially with chilli and raw ginger dominating. There’s also a touch of ash and burnt wood there with sweet caramelised brown sugar and condensed milk. There's a little ginger spice and vanilla sweetness on a good length finish. Decent, but not amazing mouthfeel. We’re normally fans of peated drams, but the peat here doesn’t seem well integrated and takes away from the dram.

Nose (with water)

Water has opened this up. There’s a grassiness now along with sherbet lemons / lemon bon bons, and a hint of lavender perfume. It’s also accentuated the peat and there’s more ash and burnt wood pulling through. There’s some caramelised brown sugar, and tobacco in the background.

Palate (with water)

Mouthfeel remains good and we’re now able to pick out more of the fruity notes as the peat has receded slightly. It’s got a medium length finish with some sweetness and peat lingering, and we’re reminded of sweet chilli sauce. While it has been diminished the peat is now more integrated into the dram.

Conclusion

For us this is one that definitely need a little water. With a few drops it becomes a good, but not amazing dram. Like the Whiskybroker release It’s missing the citrus, orange peel and marmalade notes we often get from Arran spirit and we’d have struggled to identify in blind tasting. It’s not bad, but at £75 we won’t go higher than a 7/10.

Score: 7/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

    Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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