The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finish
50% ABV, £38 for 70cl
What they say:
After initially maturing in traditional oak casks over a number of years The Arran Single Malt in this bottling was ‘finished’ in a selection of Amarone wine casks sourced from an artisan producer of this iconic Italian red wine. our Master Distiller, James MacTaggart, has carefully monitored this period of secondary maturation to ensure the perfect balance is struck between the Amarone casks and the intrinsic sweet-fruity character of The Arran Malt. The end result is a Single Malt full of charm, complexity and quality.
Colour: Burnished Copper
Aroma: Poached pears and honey followed by toasted almonds and a subtle touch of cranberry. With water a coffee note appears together with chocolate orange and mellow butterscotch.
Palate: Dark chocolate, cherry and Turkish delights are evident as are stewed fruits and toffee. Muscular notes of dark plum wrestle with bitter-sweet apricots and a hint of cinnamon.
Finish: A well-balanced combination of the finesse of The Arran Malt and the restrained fruit and oak from the Amarone casks. Concentrated and elegant this malt delivers on all levels.
What I say:
This is the Amarone cask finished expression from the Isle of Arran Distillery. Opened in 1995, the team at Arran Distillery set about experimenting with numerous cask finishes for their whisky before finally settling on a core range that really complimented their spirit. This particular example has been finished in Amarone casks. Amarone (or Amarone della Valpolicella in full) is a rich dry Itialian red wine made from Corvina, Rondinella and other approved grape varieties. The name Amarone, in Italian, literally means “the Great Bitter”; this was originally to distinguish it from the Recioto produced in the same region, which is sweeter in taste.
Almond paste (like out of a freshly baked almond croissant), sweet fruity strawberry and blackberry jam, putty/linseed oil, toasted almonds
On the palate this was a little less sweeter than the nose would suggest, cinnamon spice, fruity but slightly odd combination of oranges and strawberries, toffee, (pickled?) ginger and newly polished wood
Drying, sweet and fruity with more subtle spices, medium/long
Would I buy it:
In short, Yes! I had a very reasonably sized sample of this whisky and even that wasn’t enough, this stuff is delicious. At under £40 a bottle and bottled at 50% ABV you get a lot for your money. A superb example of complimentary cask-finishing the Arran Amarone is definitely one to look out for.