Arran Whisky!

If you have not yet gotten a hold of or seen Arran’s redesign from last year, you should change that! Last year the brand went over a complete design overhaul. Brand new bespoke bottles, with new labels and gift tubes. The redesign is like a breath of fresh air. This new look comes after the opening of their new distillery at Lagg, the south side of the island. With Arran distillery situated at Lochranza on the north, they decided it was a perfect time to for a rebrand to make a clear distinction between the spirits made on both ends of the island.

‘We’ve taken inspiration from the elements that make Lochranza so special to produce a unique and beautiful new pack, which does justice to the liquid it contains.’ Says James Mactaggart, distillery manager at Arran. They have incorporated natural materials and colour tones across all of the packaging. The simple clean design suits this this delicious whisky.

The core range is going to consist of their much loved 10 YO and Quarter cask ‘The Bothy’ expression. In addition to those two, they have added a couple of new exciting expressions. 1) The Barrel Reserve which is 100% Bourbon Barrel matured and 2) a sherry matured ‘The Bodega’. The last two that have taken on the rebrand are their aged 18 & 21 yr olds.

We definitely look forward to more from the Isle of Arran distillers. Until then grab a bottle for yourself!

Slanje, Ron

TOP 10 WHISKIES OF 2019 – NO. 1

Top 10 Whiskies of 2019 – No. 1

Balvenie 17 Year Old Doublewood – 70cl 43% – £86.99

My No.1 for 2019 is the stunning expression from Balvenie. To craft The Balvenie DoubleWood 17 Year Old, Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE returned to one of his most celebrated achievements – consecutive maturation in two different types of cask, a process often referred to as ‘cask finishing’.

Tasting Notes:
Nose: Elegant and complex oak, vanilla, honeyed sweetness and a hint of green apple.
Palate: Sweet with dried fruits, sherbet spice, toasted almonds and cinnamon, layered with a richness of creamy toffee notes and traces of oak and deep vanilla.
Finish: Vanilla oak, honey and spicy sweetness.

Slanje, Ron

TOP 10 WHISKIES OF 2019 – NO. 2

Top 10 Whiskies of 2019 – No. 2

Suntory Hibiki Harmony Japanese Blended Whisky – 70cl 43%£64.99

A stunning Japanese whisky at No.2, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is the perfect introduction to Japanese whisky. Pure and noble, it offers a transparency of taste that allows for all of this whisky’s complexities to be revealed simultaneously.

Nose: Aromas of marmalade, orange blossom and apricot jam, held together with a subtle spiciness, giving a hint of cinnamon and clove. Elegant.
Palate: The generous fruit continues on to the palate, with oranges and apricots in abundance. There’s a little peppery spice, but the soft, succulent fruit takes hold. Nice balance, and nicely crafted.
Finish: The spiciness takes over from the fruit and lingers, along with a little barrel char.
Comment: Something of a baby compared with much older Hibiki bottlings, this retains the classic soft, elegant orange-blossom character and generous fruitiness, with a little spice to help things along.

Slanje, Ron

TOP 10 WHISKIES OF 2019 – NO. 3

Top 10 Whiskies of 2019 – No. 3

Stalla Dhu Cask Strength Truthbetold 22 – 54.4% 70cl£185.00

Our newest cask strength bottling comes in strong at No.3

Some famous distilleries are fiercely protective of their whiskies and adapted a process called tea-spooning; as in adding a teaspoon of another malt.

This is so ‘Independent Bottlers’ cannot call it a Single Malt or use the Distillery name.

This exceptional cask in its previous incarnations was known as ‘Wardhead’ and clues to its identity lie within the label.

Tasting Notes:
Colour: Gold, startling, shiny, sparkling
Nose: Exotic fruits, butterscotch, vanilla
Palate: Soft sophisticated spice, toffee touches, lovely lingering long finish.

Slanje, Ron

TOP 10 WHISKIES OF 2019 – NO. 4

Top 10 Whiskies of 2019 – No. 4

Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength 2019 – 70cl 57.1% – £89.99

My choice for No. 4, released late Summer 2019, this is the latest cask strength offering from Springbank distillery.

Always a popular release, this Campbeltown malt has been matured for 12 years before being bottled at 57.1% vol.

Limited to 1 per customer.

Tasting Notes:
Nose: A fruity and nutty combination; cherries, apricot jam, pistachios and toasted oats. Salted caramel and marzipan begin to emerge.
Palate: Sweet and delicious, Scottish tablet, prunes and honey. The classic Campbeltown style develops; sea salt and a light smoke coat the mouth.
Finish: A long and warming finish with honeycomb, orange marmalade andliquorice closely followed by Demerara sugar, almonds, oats andprunes.

Slanje, Ron