Review: Arran Festival 2015 French Oak

Category: Island single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Arran Distillery

Bottling: Isle of Arran

ABV: 59%

Cost: £125 Distillery Exclusive [sold out]

arran-2015-festival-french-oak

What they say:

A limited bottling of Arran released for the Arran Malt and Music Festival 2015.

A whisky specially chosen and bottled to celebrate the Arran Malt & Music Festival 2015. From a single French Oak Barrique Cask #2005/22 distilled on the 1st August 2005 then bottled on the 3rd June 2015 with a yield of 386.

What I say:

Since the first rumbling about the 2015 Arran festival bottling there were rumours that though matured in a French Oak Barrique (traditional wine cask), this barrique had held a rather interesting previous occupant. Not traditional French red or white wine, nor dessert wine but actually this Barrique had been used previously for the maturation of Calvados apple brandy. My previous experience with Calvados-cask whiskies didn’t end well with a particular Springbank expression in mind that tasted like someone had mixed the two spirits into a glass and they hadn’t blended well. However as usual in the interests of education, both an extensive recent study of Arran whiskies and visits to Calvados distilleries I was more than happy to give this one a go.

Colour:

Bright & refractive Sauternes gold (7/20), large tears with medium-fine legs.

Nose:

Apples & Chocolate, cooking apples, stewed apples, plum sauce, sweet but with some spice and alcohol burn, fruity, honey, cinnamon, apple-bobbing, toffee apple, green apple, pear, floral & fragrant (apple) blossom.

Taste:

Thick & syrupy & richly spiced with sweet, fruity undertones, crisp green apples, pears, plum, stem ginger, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, vanilla, cereal malted barley, toffee sauce & tannic oak wood

Finish:

Long, cinnamon-spiced apple persists with lots of dry & tannic oak wood

Overall:

Delicious! Punchy but excellently constructed, tannic oak balanced with crisp orchard fruits!

Score: 90/100

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