EYE / NOSE
Nice, warm amber tone. The enjoyment can begin. The nose says: ISLAY! Maybe Campbeltown. A longrow? No, the room around me is slowly filling up with the Islaymalts so typical scent dance, this is no springbank funk, the dunnage notes are missing. It is more reminiscent of a Port Charlotte. I would have blindly guessed the Queen of the Hebrides. You can be wrong! Heavy smoke, nice sweetness, peeled cashew nuts, smoked ham and fine fruit ... mandarins or ripe nectarines. No stinging or burning in the nose. Excellent aroma. Unfortunately, it is really rare in this price range. I've always had a weakness for the successful marriage of sherry and smoke, it's no different here.
Very cleanly integrated alcohol. Are the 58.6% ABV cask strength? Nothing can be found on the label. Could of course also be 'high strength' with a young malt. Anyway, further addition of water is not necessary here. The smoke naturally leads to the taste. But there is more. I would like to say strong, rich and varied. The impressions from the nose can also be found in the taste, with the exception of the nuttiness of the cashews. The components are simply wonderfully connected, that is the real strength of this malt, that is what defines it. How do I compare the Arran? If you like the big Laphroaig 10, you will immediately feel at home here. Not from the smoke notes, of course, but from the balanced harmony.
FINISH / CONCLUSION
Long, warm, sweet and fruity aftertaste. There are also my nose tangerines and the ham. That is simply good, there is simply nothing more to add. Missing grades? Nothing. It is a NAS. I suspect, without having gone into the matter in depth, the whisky from the sherry casks used was cask maturation between four and eight years. There would have been plenty of room for metallic missing notes, fruit aromas, sulfur and other annoyances. None of this found its way into the batch. Instead, a creamy, fruity-smoky impression that remains in the mouth inspires. And at this price. When I consider the fantasy prices that are sometimes called for the young bottlings of new distilleries. Crazy! I can only advise you not to be dazzled by marketing hype, beautiful labels and supposed scarcity. The established distilleries, and Arran has long been included, have an incredible amount to offer and, as you can see, at very affordable prices. Vinothek Massen is calling for EUR 44.10 as the trade fair price for the malt. But even with the regular retail price of 49.00 in Luxembourg, it is still a top price that justifies two additional points in the rating.
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