The Arran owns a couple of casks that come straight from working sherry soleras at Bodegas Tradición. Arran used them to finish the Arran Lochranza Castle 21 Year Old, the second whisky in their Explorers Series.
The 45 year-old Amontillado VORS is arguably the best wine from Tradición. However keep in mind that a solera system will also contain much younger versions of the wine (the youngest being 10-15 years in this case) so we can’t be sure what we’re getting exactly. The cask itself will be really old though.
Arran 21 yo ‘Lochranza Castle’ (47,2%, OB ‘The Explorers Series’ 2019, sherry hogsheads + Amontillado finish, 9000 btl.)
Nose: good, fairly dry and spicy nose which shows caraway seeds, eucalyptus and ginger. Also a little damp earth, dusty cellar and sandalwood. Light vanilla and almonds in the background.
Mouth: apples, hints of pineapple and raisins, but still mostly on oak spice (ginger, cinnamon, all-spice) with a herbaceous edge. Plain malty notes, a little salted caramel and marmalade bitterness.
Finish: quite long, on herbal tea, a little tobacco and wood spice.
Really good, autumnal whisky, with a lot of wood character (fine now but at this rate I’m not particularly looking forward to a 30 year-old). It was popular with collectors – now hard to find but still available from The Whisky Exchange.