Arran 10 Years Old ~ 46% (Isle of Arran Distillers)

Arran10&NG

Arran 10 year old single malt scotch whisky

Isle of Arran Distillers

46% ABV, £31.90 from Master of Malt

Score: 84/100

Arran10yo

What they say:

The classic expression of Arran – our fresh and unique island style is captured beautifully in our 10 Year Old Single Malt. First released in 2006, this is the flagship Single Malt of our distillery and one that we were very proud to launch to great acclaim. It is without doubt a ‘must have’ in the collection of all Single Malt Whisky enthusiasts.

Colour:

Ripe Golden Barley

Nose:

The initial rush of rich vanilla sweetness gives way to the fruits of slow distillation – kiwi, banana, cantaloupe melon – with just a dusting of cocoa powder. It is undoubtedly complex and yet the aromas are in complete harmony with the malt.

Palate:

A touch of cinnamon adds a spicy edge to the soft and sweet texture which captivates the palate. The classic Arran citrus notes have rounded with age and reveal new depths of character against a background of sweet oak.

Finish:

It drifts over the tongue like golden syrup and fades ever so slowly to tempt another sip. This is a beautifully made whisky.

Arran10&NG

What I say:

Moving on and up from the Lochranza reserve we have the youngest Arran age statement whisky the 10 Years Old, released in 2006 almost precisely 10 years after they opened and starting distilling at the Arran distillery.

Colour:

Rich straw gold (7/20), numerous slow-moving medium-sized tears with medium-fine trails a little oily?

Nose:

Rich cereal and honey, almost oaty, maize/cornflake and malted barley, reminds me of golden syrup flapjacks and honey-nut cornflakes, fruity apple, plum, pear and peach  orchard fruits, a little heather blossom to the honey notes, some milk chocolate, more chewy cereal aromas accompanied by coconut and vanilla essence

Taste:

Rich, oily and buttery in texture, more chewy cereal barley and malt, toffee and thick caramel add to the sugary sweet honey flavours, fruity and a touch of zest  with apple, plum and peach, some citrus lemon juice on fresh hot pancakes becomes more  cereal like digestive biscuits

Finish:

Medium-short, more chewy and malty cereal barley becomes sweet and bitter

Overall:

We found this one very rich and mealy, especially for a 10 Year Old whisky, testament to Arran’s unwavering non-chillfiltration and also delivery at 46% ABV, whereas many other staple 10 year old offerings are diluted to 43% or even 40% in this introductory category. The result is a full-bodied whisky that gives the impression of chewing on freshly malted cereal barley, this one is very moreish and Arran distillery’s output continues to impress us.

Glengyle Distillery

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Arran Distillery

P1090975

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Arran Lochranza Reserve ~ 43% (Isle of Arran Distillers)

ArranLR+GC

Arran Lochranza Reserve single malt scotch whisky

Isle of Arran Distillers

43% ABV, £34.95 from Master of Malt

Score: 83/100

ArranLochranzaReserve

What they say:

A citrus-y, light and elegant no-age-statement single malt Scotch whisky from the distillery on the Isle of Arran. The Lochranza Reserve replaced the Arran Original in mid-2014. The name comes from the village on the Isle of Arran where the distillery is located.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose:

Fresh green apples, lemon peels and a hint of milk chocolate. A touch of golden barley and sea breeze too.

Palate:

The salty sea air notes grow slightly on the palate, balanced with plenty of juicy citrus and sweet toffee pennies. Hints of oak spice.

Finish:

Relaxed and creamy on the finish.

ArranLR+GC

What I say:

The entry level single malt whisky from the Arran Distillery, produced with no age statement but still with natural colour, non- chillfiltering and at a substantial 43% ABV. This is Arran single malt at its simplest, selected to highlight the lighter side of maturation effects upon the Arran spirit by master distiller James McTaggart.

Colour:

Straw gold (5/20), medium slow-moving droplets leaving medium/loose trails

Nose:

Sweet, honey, cereal barley malt, slight citrus lemon and lime fruits, golden syrup, caramel sauce with a hint of salt, floral violets, with time a little more fruity apple and light plum with hints of chocolate can be found

Taste:

Sweet honey and lemon, cereal barley a little gristy/mealy, grassy and dry hay, parma violet sweeties, hints of sour and bitter elements add a depth and complexity, apple, pear, plum and milk chocolate again are revealed with time giving this quite a medium-bodied feel (quite weighty for NAS – as many are obviously thin and zesty/youthful)

Finish:

Medium-short, sweet cereal barley and bitter lemon

Overall:

Very pleasurable dram, a surprise to find a NAS whisky that has clearly been well-matured (no hiding behind added caramel here), initially a little honey and lemon standard NAS fare gives way to some real depth and true Arran distillery character. If I were to stock a standard NAS expression, I would be proud to have this one from Arran on my shelf any day.

Port Charlotte 9 Years Old 2003 – 127.37 Dinosaurs Dancing to Stravinsky ~ 66.5% (SMWS)

SMWS127.37

SMWS 127.37 Dinosaurs Dancing to Stravinsky

Port Charlotte 9 Years Old 2003 single malt scotch whisky

66.5% ABV, £109.50 from SMWS

Score: 87/100

SMWS

What they say:

Cask No. 127.37

Nose:

The initial nosing is (obviously) peat up front, but there’s something else going on, which we quickly identified was the influence of sherry wood. We picked up prawn crackers, truffles on buttered toast, cordite, and maple syrup on bacon. Also some hazelnut liqueur, scampi fries, barley, and pancakes.

Palate:

It’s a lovely marriage of peat and sherry, resulting in textbook flavours that we likened to bacon; pea and ham soup; smoky salted caramels; smoky toffee; fudge; and milk chocolate. The longer you spend with this, the smokier it gets!

Finish:

Incredibly long, it is both drying and sweet: Biltong, blackberry jam, toasty sherry oak, and lingering smokiness.

Comments:

In a panel session that had already featured some very high-scoring drams, this one rose above the pack! It’s not the smokiest nose on the planet, but it certainly delivers on the palate. Everything is balanced, and the sherry adds a sweet, tasty dimension that you just want to keep going back to. Sexy, sultry, and complex were three words we agreed on.

UK Tasting Panel:

The nose – muscle rub, curry sausage, hickory pulled pork, Branston pickle, roasted nuts, smoked salt, horse grooming brushes and tarry ropes on Duncan McGillivray’s puffer. The palate, immense as a mastodon in your face, was carbolic, tarbolic, herbolic (complete bolics?) – hell’s spawn and brimstone, smoke rising in a kiln, prunes, pickled black cherries and barbecued jelly fish – sensual, dark and mysterious – some might have fled the field, but we absolutely loved it. The reduced nose was filmic – humid prehistoric jungle (Ice Age 3), dinosaurs dancing to Stravinsky (Fantasia), while the palate (tincture of clove, charcoal, sugar-coated fennel seeds) was ‘totally impressive’.

Colour:

Auburn toffee gold

SMWS127.37

What I say:

Sampled 12th December 2014 at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. The last few dregs of these bottles were still available at the bars for those in the know ;-). This is a 9 Years Old Port Charlotte (40ppm Peated Bruichladdich) distilled 20th August 2003 and matured for a full 9 years in a refill sherry butt before producing 649 bottles at cask strength 66.5% ABV!

Colour:

Fill gold (9/20) thick and slow oily tears

Nose:

Beef monster munch, peaty, peat smoke, BBQ beef, malty cereal barley, marmite, then a sweet vanilla essence, vanilla cream icing and icing sugar sweetness hits

Taste:

Honey sweet before descending into thick and chewy and also moreish malty marmite, spiced cinnamon and some black and chilli pepper heat, this mellows into a toffee’d oak wood mixed with salt liqourice

Finish:

Long, malty, toffee oak wood and lots of peat smoke, some medicinal (iodine) hints

Overall:

Wow, quite a powerful dram, this carries a huge ABV and so lends itself well to a drop of water or actually quite a huge splash in fact. The flavours are well held in all that lovely peaty, smoky oiliness and watering them down actually removes that liquorice/aniseedy element I’m not so fond of and reveals plenty of the subtler elements within this dram. This would be a great heart-warmer on a winter’s night, even with a rock or two or plenty of cool spring water to mellow it out.

Happy 2nd Whiskyphiles Birthday

image2ndBirthday

image2ndBirthday

Today day is our 2nd Birthday here at The Whiskyphiles and we are celebrating in style with another whisky pilgrimage, this time to Campbeltown!

Campbeltown

Glen Scotia 21 Years Old ~ 46% (Glen Scotia Distillery)

GlenScotia21

Glen Scotia 21 year old single malt scotch whisky

Glen Scotia Distillery – Loch Lomond Group

46% ABV, £77.80 for 70cl from Master of Malt

Score: 85/100

GlenScotia21

What they say:

Bourbon Cask matured, non-chill filtered.

Official Tasting Notes

Colour:

Earl Grey tea.

Body:

Medium weight with a smooth texture.

Nose:

Fresh citrus and tangerine flavours are quickly apparent, it takes longer for the oak vanilla and macadamia flavours to emerge.

Palate:

A true classic old style whisky with lychee, butterscotch, ginger and syrup flavours. Complex, suave and succulent.
Finish:

Smooth combination of citrus fruit, spice, honey, and pecan. One for the weekend when you have time to dissect its layers.

What I say:

The pinnacle of the 2012 Glen Scotia range is this 21 Years Old expression

Colour:

Rich amber gold (9/20) slow medium droplets with fine trails

Nose:

Tinned pineapple, icing sugar, vanilla cream icing, sweet, clear/high vanilla notes, stewed fruits, something a little meaty and musty and plenty of oak wood

Taste:

Smooth and creamy, rapidly becomes zesty and spiced, white pepper followed by white chocolate buttons, vanilla essence, orange zest, grapefruit, pineapple, mango (and also mango rind)cereal barley flour

Finish:

Medium-long, butterscotch, Werthers original caramel sweeties, toffee – zesty

Overall:

While the 21 Years Old expression from Glen Scotia was a little different from the 18 Years Old it didn’t appeal to us as having any improvement and we enjoyed them both equally.

Glen Scotia 18 Years Old ~ 46% (Glen Scotia Distillery)

GlenScotia18

Glen Scotia 18 year old single malt scotch whisky

Glen Scotia Distillery – Loch Lomond Group

46% ABV, £59.33 for 70cl from Master of Malt

Score: 85/100

GlenScotia18

What they say:

Bourbon Cask matured, non-chill filtered.

Official tasting notes:

Colour:

Liquid honey

Body:

Subtle mellow richness

Nose:

A good balance of sweet and bitter fruit underpinned with the bourbon cask’s delicate vanilla layers. Remarkably light, fresh and vibrant.

What I say:

Glen Scotia 18 Years Old – released 2012 so presumably distilled in 1994 – safely before the mothballed period for Glen Scotia so we are well and truly safely in ‘old’ stock era here.

Colour:

Rich amber gold (9/20) medium-slow oily droplet tears with medium trails

Nose:

Tinned peaches, sweet and fruity, vanilla, light honey or syrup, slightly nutty – macadamia nuts again and lots of white chocolate

Taste:

Drying, waxy but becomes buttery and oily, rich and zesty with lots of spice, white pepper, orange zest and lime juice, opens up becoming a lot richer with malty and gristy cereal malted barley, almost gritty or paste nutty macadamias very textured and chewy on the palate and again vanilla and white chocolate

Finish:

Medium-long, creamy, toffee, oak wood, polish and beeswax

Overall:

At 18 Years Old these Glen Scotia’s are starting to feel complete with plenty of texture and an intensity, complex but quite coherent flavours reflect the staunch adherence to bourbon-only maturation.

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