Last year Arran had a re-brand to modernise the bottles and packaging. I wrote an article about branding and updating lineups at the time. See The Rebrand: When whisky get a respawn if you are interested in what I said. I wasn’t very complimentary about the new bottles appearance and wondered how much this marketing work cost because it felt a little too cookie cutter.
The actual whisky though was mostly unchanged from the old bottles apart from a couple of new releases. I have been able to actually try one of the new releases at last and it was the full term matured Bodega Sherry Cask edition. Some of the most memorable bottles have come from ex sherry casks over at Arran so it was for that reason I went for this over the similarly aged ex-bourbon Reserve bottle.
I have mentioned this before but I visited Arran a few years back for a little weekend break and took in the distillery tour. The picture above was from that trip so you can see it was a nice day. The rest of my thoughts are over at Arran Distillery Tour and Tasting
Since then the Lagg distillery has opened and people can tour that as well. I might get time to jump over and try out their new peated distillery at some point but until then I will have to read others comments on that.
The Sherry Cask is officially an non age statement but all the marketing stuff on the online shops tells the same but different story. The whisky is full term in first fill Sherry casks for around 7 years and the colour is natural as well. There is a lot of colour on the whisky as well so the level of activity in casks is probably pretty high. All good stuff and the good times continue on the price with this being available at around the £50 mark at full cask strength (55.8% ABV)
Colour – Lovely polished dark furniture
Nose – Lots of dried fruit and standard sherry notes. The alcohol soak fruits are full and bright rather than dark and heavy.
Palate – Chocolate and more dried fruits. Lots of thick sticky texture on the mouth feel which is always a win for me. A touch of mint and menthol as well.
Finish – The long finish dominates on oak spices, orange peel and just a sprig for mint.
This particular release isn’t being heavily marketed or at least I haven’t heard many noises about it. I think that is a crying shame because its actually very very good. I have a sherry finished Arran from M&S I haven’t opened yet but I would be willing to bet this is better. Around £50 this is a sure winner in my book.