Another sample I am very grateful to get from the Yorkshire based Claxton’s.
I really like the Arran distillery and this is the oldest expression I have tried so I am hoping for something interesting.
The Arran distillery started production in 1995 as an independent business by Harold Currie who recently passed away. Arran was one of the first new distilleries to open and started the current boom of new distilleries to open in Scotland in recent times. There are now so many distilleries being built or with planning permission you have to wonder how many will make it the distance.
The Arran distillery is located on the northern end of the island and includes an award winning visitor centre and menu of tour options.
They are also one of the few distilleries which still offer casks for sale. This is quite a fun thing to do with friends to buy a cask and watch it mature over 10 plus years. To give you an idea of the costs involved below is information from the Arran website:
Cask Type Cost
First Fill ex-Bourbon £1950
First Fill ex-Sherry £2650
Peated First Fill ex-Bourbon £2350
The price above include storage for 10 years. As an idea once bottled, taxed and posted first a first fill ex-sherry it works out at around £20.40 per bottle at 46% ABV which is I think around half of what you might pay for an equivalent independently bottled whisky.
Recently the company have embarked on an ambitious programme of expansion. The stills have been replaced and doubled to four in the current distillery and a second operation is being built on the southern side of the island.
Currently the distillery in Lochranza produced unpeated and peated malt how it looks like this will change. It seems each operation will exclusively produce peated or unpeated spirit.
The future for whisky production looks to be secure and exciting for fans of this relatively young distillery.
This single cask release is naturally presented without any additional chill filtering or artificial colouring. The whisky was distilled on 2nd September 1996 and after 20 years the strength is 50.3% ABV.
It will be available from selected retailers for around £100.
Colour – pale yellow
Nose – initially you notice a lot of sweetness. Vanilla and honey are obvious but also passion fruit and cooking apples
Palate – very spicy with lots of cinnamon but also herbaceous. Orange peel gives it a zestiness.
Finish – a medium length finish which is quite drying with strong brewed tea. The finish develops the flavour profile and I notice a sherry cask influence of alcohol steeped fruits and dairy toffee.
Of the two 2017 samples from Claxtons this is my favourite. I enjoyed the spicy character of the palate and the depth of flavour in the experience. The extra dimension in the finish which subtly brings in fruitcake notes is an added bonus.