We’ve had quite a few nice casks from the early years of the Arran distillery. The Arran cask #757 for TWE springs to mind for instance, and today we’re having a similar 1996 vintage.
It’s strange that they never seem to disclose the type of cask on the label. In this case I trust the information on several retailer websites. However the distillery claims its stock records are often unclear (“we believe it’s a wine cask of some kind”). I have trouble believing that. Remember this distillery earned some of its fame through a variety of exotic casks which used to be perfectly described. Maybe they didn’t use certified sherry casks back then. Or maybe they simply prefer to hide how they got these (nice) results…
Arran 25 yo 1996 (50,2%, OB for the UK 2021, first fill sherry hogshead #905, 265 btl.)
Nose: very aromatic sherry, full of blackberries and strawberry jams, soaked raisins and hints of redcurrants, but also showing peonies and very light potpourri. Orange oils and mint leaves. Subtle fruit tea and dusty books. A rare style of sherry, fruity and highly seductive.
Mouth: really good again, even though it’s a little lighter / thinner than expected. More (blood) oranges, hints of Moroccan mint, with rose pepper and cloves. At the same time caramelized nuts in the background, raspberries and tobacco. Nicely rounded, still showing this floral top note.
Finish: long, with roasted malt and chocolate notes, alongside red fruits and gentle oak spice.
I love this elegant, fruity and almost floral style of sherry. The magic of sherry, with a freshness that you don’t see every day. Sold out, I’m afraid, so let’s hope they can find other similar casks in their inconsistent track records 🙂