The Icons of Arran is a limited series of 12yo releases which highlight different typical elements of the island. First there was Arran Peacock, next Arran The Rowan Tree and now Arran The Westie, a tribute to Ruaraidh, the West Highland Terrier of the distillery manager.
It is composed of 22 oloroso sherry hogsheads from 1998.
Arran 12 yo 1998 ‘The Westie’
(46%, OB 2011, 6000 btl.)
Nose: fruity and slightly acidic, with sour cherries, orange zest and lemon sherbet. Something of a soda lemonade as well. Hardly any oloroso influence if you ask me. Fresh oak. Hints of honey. A few floral notes too.
Mouth: a malty centre with spicy and nutty overtones. Again a zesty kind of citrus flavour. Growing warmer with vanilla, apricots and more noticeable oak. Lemon pie.
Finish: medium long, drier, with leather and spices. Traces of mocha.
Quite a smooth Arran, this Westie. Fresh, fruity and convincing as a whole. The oloroso casks must have been second fill or rather third fill, because there’s hardly any sherry to be found. Around € 40.
ps/ There’s another limited edition Arran ‘The sleeping warrior’, 10 years old and released to help The National Trust for Scotland. It’s more expensive (around € 60) but it’s cask strength and remember part of your money goes to Scotland’s natural heritage.