Arran 15yr Anniversary whisky – an 11yr whisky finished in Amontillado Sherry casks

Islands region – 54.60%ABV – $75 – $85 | £49 | €58

Wait a second here… an 11 year old whisky to celebrate a 15 year anniversary?

Why not?  Does it make it a little confusing?  Well, yes – especially when there’s another distillery only bottling to celebrate 15yr and that one is 15 years old.  Now that I’ve explained the difference in the two, you can quit your complaining ’cause I done un-confused yeh 😉

On to the matter at hand — A very limited release whisky to celebrate an immensely momentous occasion.  So limited, in  fact, that there’s only 5,460 bottles to go around.  Interesting that the ABV is 54.60% and that there’s a release of 5,460 bottles total.  Chance?  Luck?  Marketing?  Who knows.

What I do know is that out of all of the Arran whiskies I’ve had to date (up until, let’s say, the end of 2010) this is my very favorite.

On the nose Ummm… Sherry!  Amontillado sherry – very nutty and rich smelling with obvious notes of dried fruit and a clear focus on raisins.

Corncob pipes.

Thai curry (peanuty massaman  perhaps).

Earthy with notes of freshly chopped wood, ginger and oregano.

This is a very generous nose and, dare I say, spell binding!

Sweetened baked beans with molasses.  Oh!  Brisket!!  (this “meaty” note I am getting is not as upfront and over-powering as what I found on the Sauternes finished Arran).

On the mouth Big and oily.

Lots of flavors fighting for the foreground (for some reason the mud wrestling scene in Stripes! comes to mind).

Buttered lobster (man, it’s been years since I’ve eaten fish, kosher or no).

Filbert nuts (better yet, Nutella – chocolately and hazelnutty).

Oak.

Ginger and honey.

Finish Lengthy!  Sour notes come creeping up and those filberts return.

In sum A delicious dram for happy times!!  Oh, this one will make you smile.  It’s a mood changer (from bad to good, never the other way around).  A sexy bottle & box for a sexy-ass whisky!  Happy anniversary Arran!  You have a lot to celebrate and I thank you for making us a part of that celebration!

A sincere thanks goes out to Andy Hogan for the generous sample!

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