Highlander Hotel Whisky Club - Arran Night
About time too a few people will say but i've been looking at going along to a Whisky Club for a while now and keep being distracted by things, these may be work, or university pressures but they've stopped me doing the things i wanted to.
I now have the time so it was time i popped along to my first (hopefully of many) nights at the Highlander Hotel Whisky Club in Armadale (it's a 10 min train trip from me).
Stewart and Colin, the 2 guys who organise and run the whisky club, i've been chatting to for a few weeks now and it was great to finally meet them. The first night i pick to go along was an Arran night with all the whiskies coming from the Arran distillery, i couldn't have picked a better night.
Robert Burns Single Malt
First up was the Robert Burns Single Malt, aged somewhere around the 7 to 8 years but a Non Age Statement on the bottle, this as actually a lot more pleasant than i was expecting from this dram.
A single malt from the Isle of Arran distillery, celebrating the famed Scottish poet, Robert Burns. This bottling is officially endorsed by the World Burns Federation, it is said that Burns held whisky in great regard.
You can pick up a bottle from Master of Malt to try yourself.
|Bottle Name||Robert Burns Malt|
|Nose||Malty with touches of sweet flowers and sugared crunchy bramley apples and a touch of manuka honey|
|Taste||malty again with vanilla coming through and some lovely summer fruit notes of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and redcurrant|
|Finish||fresh, very nice and easy going dram|
Arran 10 Year Old
Next up was the Arran 10 Year Old, the entry level dram from Arran, there was a bit of debate and this certainly wasnt everyones cup of tea but for an entry level dram this is a cracking little spice pot, i was also impressed to note that their entry level dram was also Non Chill Filtered and free from artificial colouring.
Officially launched in 2006, this 10 year old lies at the heart of the Isle of Arran range and exudes all the honeyed richness we have come to associate with the island distillery.
You can get this from Master of Malt who also do samples of this malt.
|Bottle Name||Arran 10 Year Old|
|Nose||Vanilla is the strongest note followed by fruits with ripe green banana being the main note with honeydew melon following|
|Taste||more tangyness coming from hints of nutmeg and cinnamon with touches of banana and vanilla|
|Finish||sweet ripe banana and a kick of spice|
Arran 14 Year Old
Third up was probably my favourite dram of the evening, i'd heard lots of good things about this dram and was looking forward to trying it and i certainly wasn't disappointed.
The 2010 release from Arran, the 14 year old replaces the previous benchmark, the 12. This was finished in fresh bourbon and sherry hogsheads 2 years before it was bottled. The result is a sweet, fruity arran with all that wonderful malt we love!
Another one you can get from Master of Malt and one i would highly recommend you try even if it is just of the sample sized bottles
|Bottle Name||Arran 14 Year Old|
|Nose||Vanilla comes through first with lots of sherried dried fruits sultanas, raisins and mixed summer fruits join the party, with a freshly made creamy caramel sauce and touches of plum|
|Taste||Very fruity with touches of nutmeg and spice and more tangy but sweet summer fruits|
|Finish||fruity and a touch of spice and vanilla|
Arran 12 Year Old Cask Strength
This fourth dram was the heavy hitting ABV of the night at 54.1% but it certainly didnt go all alcoholy on it, the cask strength instead giving way to extra notes of sweetness and chocolate.
This is a twelve year old Arran whisky that has been bottled at a natural cask-strength of 54.1%. The Isle of Arran distillery opened in 1995 and has gone on to produce some, frankly, phenomenal whiskies.
Another one available to buy from Master of Malt
|Bottle Name||Arran 12 Year Old Cask Strength|
|Nose||Green and Blacks dark chocolate at over 70% Cocoa although it does have that Cadburys Bournville note also, touches of coconut and fruit almost like and apple and coconut bounty bar.|
|Taste||sweet malty with more dark chocolate and summer fruits|
|Finish||Touches of acetone in the finish from the Cask strength but lovely and warming afterglow.|
Arran Amarone Cask Finish
The surprise addition to the evening with the extra numbers was this lovely dram finished in an Amerone (Italian Dry Red wine) cask, adds more fruits and sweetness.
The 2010 released Amarone finish from Arran. This has a similar style to the brilliant Sassicaia finish. Amarone is dry Italian red made using partially dried Corvina grapes, Rondinella grapes and Molinara.
You can pick up a bottle of a sample of this from Master of Malt.
|Bottle Name||Arran Amarone Cask Finish|
|Nose||Hugely Fruity, lots of raisins and sweet fruit like kiwi and melon and a touch of caramel and treacle, very moreish nose.|
|Taste||Super sweet with touches of juicy fruit chewing gum and citrus fruit cheesecake|
|Finish||slight malt notes but still very sweet|
Arran Machrie Moor Batch 3
I've previously had batch 1 of this lightly peated whisky and this time i got some very light notes of smoke on the nose so i'm not sure if this one is peated at a higher PPM than the 1st batch.
A very lightly peated whisky from Arran! The Machrie Moor is a peat bog on the western part of the Isle of Arran, and the dog on the bottle is called Bran!
Batches 1 and 2 have sold out at Master of Malt but keep an eye out for Batch 3 arriving soon
|Bottle Name||Arran Machrie Moor (Batch 3)|
|Nose||Very very light smoky, light malty notes and touches of sweet summer fruits of melon, nectarine and peach|
|Taste||more of the very light smoke, nothing major and more vanilla and sweet fruits|
|Finish||sweet with a touch of light smoke ebbing out.|