24 drams till Christmas (blind) tasting #16: Arran Quarter Cask distillery exclusive

Arran Quarter Cask distillery exclusiveDram data:
Distillery: Arran
Bottler: Original bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014-ish
Age: NAS
Limitation: 438 bottles
Casks: quarter cask finish
Alcohol: 52,8%
unchill filtered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Blind tasting notes:
light gold
The nose is initially on the light side, getting darker and richer as time passes. 40-43% ABV would be my guess. We’ve got vanilla, honey, heather, a hint of toffee, baked apple with brown sugar, sweet flowers, fragrant oak, slight spices and dried fruits (raisins) in the background.

Ho-hum, hard to guess the cask – either refill american wood sherry or ex-bourbon. On the palate the alcohol is initially a bit more noticeable, this could well be 46%… Once the alcohol passes I get rich, mouth coating notes of heather honey with vanilla, baked apples with cinnamon and cloves, toffee, condensed orange juice and a nice oaky touch in the background. The medium-long finish has a nice oomph upon swallowing, rather sweet (more on the honey- and fruit-sweetness side) with growing spices and oak.

Now there’s a pleasant surprise! At first contact it was rather closed-down and light, but after some time in the glass the whisky got richer, fruitier and sweeter. Very accessible, pleasing and highly quaffable. My guess? A refill sherry Speysider in its late teens. Oh, I can’t wait to find out what that dram is…

Oh, Arran quarter cask… errr… that’s unexpected. On second thought I can see why I was mislead. The quarter cask 2nd maturation can impart far more flavours and even oak notes than the bigger casks, so that’s an easy and honest mistake. I’m quite surprised by the bottling strength – I did not guess it was in the 50s… You got me there, little brother.

A release similar to this one is now available worldwide under the name “The Bothy”

Score: 84/100
(Nose: 84 Palate: 84 Finish: 83)

The dram for this blind tasting was provided by my brother Peter

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