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Friday, June 3, 2016

Single Malt Report: Arran 15 year old 2000 Sherry Hogshead for K&L Wine Merchants

Like Wednesday's Longmorn, here's another K&L exclusive single cask featured at the K&L Strikes Back event from two months ago.  In this case, K&L purchased the cask from the distillery itself rather than from an independent bottler.  Ooh, and like the Longmorn, it's actually still available for purchase as of this moment.

Distillery: Isle of Arran
Ownership: Isle of Arran Distillers
Age: 15 years (February 24, 2000 - April 7, 2015)
Maturation: sherry hogshead
Bottle count: 257
Alcohol by Volume: 56.8%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No
Exclusive to: K&L Wine Merchants

Its color is a dark gold, flexing its sherry hogshead tint.

The neat nose leads off with a blast of dry nutty sherry.  Then green apples and cinnamon.  A bit hit of vanilla bean.  York Peppermint Patties crossed with Cow Tales and a generous helping of floral esters.  With water (~46%abv), it becomes very floral; both blossoms and soap.  A bit of fresh ginger too.  Some of the sherry pulls back letting larger notes of American oak (vanilla and caramel) come through.

The neat palate is also big on the florals.  But it also has notes of canned peaches and dried apricots.  Plenty of dry nutty sherry throughout, again.  Marzipan, raisins, green (Granny Smith?) apples, dried cherries, ginger ale, and a hint of malt.  With water (~46%abv), a nice bitter Campari note pops up, joining the stone fruits.  The ginger ale and malt remain, though the whole becomes more sugary.  Raisin Bran raisins and orange candy.

The peaches and apricots remain through the neat finish.  Lots of clean sherry.  Dried cherries, almonds, and prune juice, along with an ethyl tingle.  With water (~46%abv), it's almonds, apricots, orange candy, and caramel.

I'll say it here and then you can tell me to f*** right off, but I liked this better than the 29yo Longmorn.  The Arran's palate and finish not only match the nose, but surpass it at times, creating a more balanced experience.  The good sherry cask leads the way, though it does leave room for some more spirit-driven fruit and floral things.  For my nose and palate, 10-15 years is the prime spot for Arran's single malt, and this particular whisky continues the trend.  Like the Longmorn, K&L recently dropped the price to get more bottles out the door, shifting this to $97 from $130.  Not a bad idea.

Availability - Exclusively through K&L Wine Merchants
Pricing - $97, was $130
Rating - 88