The Isle of Arran has a long history with whisky. During the 18th century, there were as many as fifty distilleries on the island (the majority of which were underground), all of which have since closed. Founded in 1998, the Arran distillery is now the only one located there.
On the occasion of Whisky Live in Paris in 2019, the distillery presented its new visual identity, with bottles inspired by costière waves and whose island on the label is reminiscent of a fingerprint.
This revival also affects its range of whiskys. From now on, The Bothy expression benefits from a refining in quarter cask (125 liter barrels) for two years, supposed to offer it more intensity. This whisky is bottled by force of the cask, at 56.2%
However, when I smoke this one, the wood is only in the background. It is present, but to highlight the rest: an explosion of tropical fruits (guava, mango, lime). It's like preparing an excellent punch, in which we add a vanilla bean. This fruit is contrasted by beautiful notes of spices, but all these scents are surprisingly sweet.
With the first sip, the attack is sweet. The fruit quickly reappears afterwards, with notes of lemons, green apples and lychees. It is very pleasant to find different fruits compared to the nose, which intermingle with notes of caramel and sweet spices.
The finish is astringent and of a good length, the refinement in quarter cask is finally felt here with beautiful woody notes. This Arran is extinguished on orange and dark chocolate.
This Arran Quarter Cask The Bothy is a nice surprise, because it has this consensual side while having the kind of atypical profile that one looks for in a cask brut.