The Birmingham Whisky Club Blog :: A Focus On Arran

October 5, 2016

On The Blog

This month I decided to return back to Scottish whisky and focus in on a particular distillery. I chose Arran after discussing with a couple of club members recounting their enjoyment of a dram or two over the last month!

Arran was known over the last decade for producing a lot of cask finished whiskies. As a relatively young distillery this fitted the trend as they matured their base stock of whisky. Over the last five years however they’ve reduced the number of cask finishes and really focused on what makes them special. The result is a really nice range of whiskies with an underlying taste profile. Here are three from their current range that can be bought to enjoy around Birmingham or to enjoy at home at a very reasonable price!

The Birmingham Whisky Club
Arran 12 Whisky

What: Arran 12 Year Old 54.1%

Where: The Wellington, 37 Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham B2 5SN

Nose: Caramel and Sherry fruits. For me I got hints of apricot and corn coming through the most.

Palate: I got a real feel of spicy sherry. Quite a potent bite with a nuttiness presenting like a coffee / mocha note. Very rich feel in the mouth.

Finish: Long finish, plenty of spice. I got white pepper but others get nutmeg or orange zest also.

Trying all three Arran’s together this packed quite a kick to start! Having now tried all three this was probably the most unrefined of the three drams but I think that was more a positive personally as it provided a very natural unrefined expression. I think that adding a bit of water might make it easier to identify the different flavours within the whisky but wouldn’t necessarily improve it.

The Birmingham Whisky Club
Arran 14 whisky

What: Arran 14 Year Old 46%

Where: The Wellington, 37 Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham B2 5SN

Nose: Classic Arran Peach comes through prominently. Softer nose than the 12 year old with hints of sultana and plum.

Palate: Sweet on the initial taste, with slight hints of salted butter. Very easy going middle taste with nice oak overtones finishing to a cinnamon note.

Finish: Medium long finish with cinnamon developing with a sweet demerara sugar final note.

The taste was far more than I was expecting from the nose! Really enjoyed this and felt it was a more refined whisky compared to the 12. I would not recommend adding any water to this, just a beautiful dram as is!

The Birmingham Whisky Club
The Arran Port Cask

What: Arran Port Cask Finish 50%

Where: The Wellington, 37 Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham B2 5SN

Nose: The port finish is obvious immediately. Plum, demerara sugar and a citrus note I felt was more candied orange than anything else came through clearly.

Palate: Surprisingly light in the mouth on initial taste compared to the other drams this month. This reminded me the most of eating treacle pudding with custard due to the sweet initial notes and vanilla finish. The port comes to the fore through the grape notes initially with the oak and spice taking over as it developed in the mouth.

Finish: Long, with spice developing into a warm vanilla finish.

This was my close favourite of the night. Good to try with a small drop of water to open up the flavour allow the complexity of the oak and port finish to shine.