...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Single Malt Report: Arran 1998-2012 Whiskykanzler (refill sherry cask)

Bottle pic from whiskybase. My own photos will be
returning to posts sometime next week.
During his travels to other lands, Florin (a prince) rescued four bottles from an excellent German whisky retailer known as Whiskykanzler (though the store itself is called Wein & Whisky) and was kind enough to split these bottles with MAO and I.  Three of these whiskies were single casks bottled by Whiskykanzler themselves.  They all have the perky cartoon-style label you see above -- though if you look closely there's a train crash occurring at the bottom of the label -- I'll explain this design further in the upcoming reviews of the other two single casks.  This will be the last of my small series on Isle of Arran single malts because the other two whiskykanzler single casks are from another distillery.  But those are scheduled for next week.  I'll take a sip of this Arran today.

Distillery: Arran
Bottler: Whiskykanzler
Type: Single Malt
Distilled: 1998
Bottled: 2012
Maturation: refill sherry cask
Cask #: 098
Bottle count: 267
Alcohol by Volume: 52.5%

The color is medium gold.  The nose is fruity as heck.  It starts off with apples and pineapples encased in ethyl fumes.  Then comes dried blueberries and cranberries, grape juice and orange juice.  After 15 minutes there's a moment of Black & Mild cigarettes.  So it begins spirity, then gradually the sherry arrives.  The palate starts off quite hot.  Lots of fruit again.  Welch's Fruit Snacks.  Those orange-cranberry scones that Whole Foods used to sell (or still does, I don't go to Whole Foods anymore).  A grapey sherry element grows with time, as does the citrus.  It finishes with zesty lime, dried cherries, grape jelly, and Welch's gummies.  The lime lasts the longest.

WITH WATER (~46%abv)
More grapes on the nose, reading as grape candy and Manischewitz Concord now.  Gummy orange slices.  Plastic chairs and hint of beach air.  The heat is tamed in the improved lightly sugary palate.  Orange and lime peels take front stage.  A little barley actually shows through.  Those citrus peels stay for the more focused, creamy and pleasant finish.

The water worked well.  How about a little more...

WITH WATER (~40%abv)
The much more relaxed nose picks up a mild grassy note.  Then its all citrus peels and vanilla.  Lemon creme pie.  Meanwhile, the palate takes on a lot of tartness and bitterness, as if one's eating those peels.  Some wood pushes through as well.  It's all pretty bold for the ABV.  The finish is mostly just tart with a small note of aromatic citrus blossoms.

I still had some whisky remaining and things were working well at 40%abv, what if I added more water?

WITH WATER (~30%abv)
Much more barley in the still vivid nose.  More vanilla too.  Lots of lime, grass, and leaves.  A puff of the original strength's fruitiness.  The palate is tart, sweet, creamy, and perky.  A hint of American oak pulp too.  It still has a finish: sugar, citrus, and vanilla.

This whisky improves with water, and that's not something I experience often.  Its money spot seems to be at 46%abv, it stays strong at 40%abv, and is more interesting at 30%abv than many whiskies are at 40%.  There's definitely some sherry present, but it never overshadows the fruity spirit.  Overall, this doesn't beat the official 10 nor 14 (nor maybe the 16), but it's still a decent whisky that swims very well.  It's also totally sold out now, so then there's that.

Availability - Sold out at the retailer
Pricing - €49
Rating - 84 (with water only, without water it's about an 80)


  1. Ha... unbelievable... it's funny how Werners Bottlings seem to appear all around the world nowadays. I think i sent you some of his Springbanks right?

    1. Hey Cobo! Actually the Springbanks that I have are from the bottle splits with Florin. Though I do have quite a number of your samples (non-Springbank no-Whiskykansler) on tap for posts later this month...