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Megawatt
01-22-2008, 10:44
In my quest for an outstanding super-powered single malt, I have come across The Isle of Arran distillery. They have four offerings which interest me:

100 Proof (actually 57% ABV)
Amarone Wine Cask Finish
Cream Sherry Cask Finish
Hardy Napolean Cognac Finish

All of these are cask-strength, with no age statement, and comparable in price to Aberlour A'bunadh. Has anyone tried them? I'm particularly interested in the Cognac Finish, since I love cognac almost as much as Scotch. The 100 Proof is the least expensive, though...

mier
01-23-2008, 04:23
You also have the 10yo it is a nice whisky but not outstandingly good just regular,the sherryfinish is better and smoother and the amaronefinish is something that you must like,for me it tasted awful but perhaps others like it?the cognac i`ve never tried.What are you looking for in single malts?
Eric.

Megawatt
01-23-2008, 05:45
Good question. Normally I like rich malt flavour with complex aromas like fruit, flowers and spice. I tend to like sherried malts but I've tried enough of those that something different would be nice, which is why I was thinking of the cognac finish. In this case I'm looking for something special, a bottle I cannot normally afford, which is why I'm looking at cask-strength and single-barrel offerings. I've heard mostly great things about Isle of Arran so far...

mier
01-23-2008, 07:11
Glenmorangie and Edradour also have some good finishes,both have a sherryfinish,Glenmorangie also has a portfinish of interest and a madeirafinish.Edradour has a heavily peated whisky "Ballechin" and a tokayfinish.Did you ever tried the Maccallanrange 20`s till 50`s?Every decade has his own caracteristics,the 30`s is my favorite with a nice sherrytaste.And i don`t even like sherry that much:blush: .
Eric.

MikeK
01-23-2008, 13:11
I have been wanting to try an Arran. I have heard generally good things, but one thing bothers me. I had read that some of their barrels are aged at the distillery, but mush of it is sent to the big central Scottish aging warehouses. I'm sure the locally aged barrels would be more interesting, but don't know if you can tell from the bottling which you are getting.

I also recommend you try out Compass Box whiskies. These are mostly vattings of single malts. They are quite good. Their best, in my opinion, is Spice Tree, if you can still find it. Too bad the SWA made them stop making it. (For now :) )

Lots of good bottlings from Gordon & MacPhail as well.

I had the range of Edradour finishes a few years back and also found them quite good.

TomH
01-23-2008, 16:37
Compass Box's Oak Cross is their attempt to produce a product similar to Spice Tree that is SWA compliant.

Tom

Megawatt
01-23-2008, 18:29
Holy hell, I'm on my first glass of The Arran Malt single cask in the cognac finish. Outstanding! Took a little bit to open up (not to mention considerable water), but I am now finding it very hard to resist another glass...

drrich1965
01-23-2008, 18:47
I have only had two expresions- both scored 74 for me, 75 is my base-line "average single malt" score...mind you, I like malt, so average is enjoyable, but no more..

74 Sm Arran (43%, OB, 50ml, circa 2001) December 5, 2006. Drank this last night, and did not make tasting notes. Simple and present. A very young malt, that probably would be pretty lovely and sweet at an older age. The first time I have tried one from the current newest single malt. I look forward to trying it again. The only thing that pushed this a point under average was the nose, sort of that rubber lunch meat taste of my Signatory Littlemill, just not as pronounced.

74 Sm Arran 6yo 1997/2003 (OB, 58.2%, Sherry Hogshead bottle 94/326) March 23, 2007 Nose: Simple malt and sherry. Mouth: Simple and clean, every so slightly young tasting. Some spirty notes, alcohol, a little bit hot. Lingering spices. Maybe a bit of mint at the end of the mouth and onto the finish. Mostly smooth, and enjoyable. Decent, but nothing trilling at this point. Would be nice to taste this malt in about ten years. Second tasting: About the same assessment as the first, expect the malt is a bit sweeter than I described at first. Enjoyable.

Megawatt
01-23-2008, 19:26
I'm not an experienced Scotch taster by any stretch, but after one glass I would rate the Single Cask cognac finish as one of the best that I've tried. I've never had a whisky shape-shift so much on me. At first it had very little aroma and the flavour was overwhelmed by alcohol, but after the right amount of water it really started to open up. Sweet, honeyed malt was my first impression, but halfway through the glass fruitiness became increasingly apparent. By the end of the glass, an oily richness that was just slightly peaty had dominated. I'm interested to see what my next glass reveals...

mier
01-24-2008, 04:01
I have been wanting to try an Arran. I have heard generally good things, but one thing bothers me. I had read that some of their barrels are aged at the distillery, but mush of it is sent to the big central Scottish aging warehouses. I'm sure the locally aged barrels would be more interesting, but don't know if you can tell from the bottling which you are getting.

I also recommend you try out Compass Box whiskies. These are mostly vattings of single malts. They are quite good. Their best, in my opinion, is Spice Tree, if you can still find it. Too bad the SWA made them stop making it. (For now :) )

Lots of good bottlings from Gordon & MacPhail as well.

I had the range of Edradour finishes a few years back and also found them quite good.

Well you`re right that barrels are bought from every distillery by independant blenders/bottlers they are stored in their own warehouses and are used for blending and bottling a single malt whenever they like to do so.The single malt from the Arrandistillery can therefor be diffrent than the bottling of Compass Box or (my favorite)Douglas&Laing,it gives a good diversity in a single malt,i have a few bottles of Port Ellen from diffrent bottlers and they all are diffrent,no problem to me i like comparing them.Only 6% of single malt ends up as an actual single malt the rest dissapears in blends so you could say that the most of the production is stored anywhere else but i think that the regular products from the Arran distillery are stored on Arran.
Eric.

Frodo
01-24-2008, 14:44
100 Proof (actually 57% ABV)
Amarone Wine Cask Finish
Cream Sherry Cask Finish
Hardy Napolean Cognac Finish

Of these, the Amarone Wine Finish was the one that drew the most praise from Spirit of Toronto fans...