Islands region – 700ml bottle – £95.00 – Sold through the Arran website or at the Distillery only, 600 bottles in all!
Man-o-Maneschewitz, did I have a lot of fun opening this bottle or what!? I did mentioned it in my post about WhiskyFest NYC — I was not planning on opening this bottle for a while but an opportunity presented itself and whisky is meant for enjoying and sharing in the right company.
Well, the opportunity was there – I had a bottle. The company was there too – Andy Hogan of Arran, John Hansell of The Malt Advocate magazine and the What Does John Know? blog as well as Lew Bryson (managing editor of Malt Advocate).
The time was right — it was the night just before WhiskyFest; a very festive time… what better reason to open the bottle!?
What’s more is, I got to share this again later that night at Ward III with Michael Neff (one of the owners of the Ward III), a new friend Keith and the infamous World Traveler, Prankster & Ladies’ Man, Greenie D. McGee!
So, what is the Arran Open Day Whisky? Not to be confused with the Arran 15yr Anniversary dram which is actually an 11yr old whisky finished in Amontillado Sherry casks — It’s a bottling of whisky (600 bottles in all) made of the first spirit fun from their stills back in 1995. They vatted three casks from this run (all first-fill bourbon) to create this very limited bottling.
Here are my thoughts on the whisky (preview: great stuff!) —
On the nose — Big yummy bourbon nose!!
Coconut – freshly shredded and toasted.
Abundant vanilla and caramel. Just a joy to nose.
Lychee nuts in syrup.
Some ocean breeze.
Surgical soap and fruity taffy.
Banana returns with a toasty feel to it.
Perfectly fresh mouth feel.
A touch of water brings out some pears.
Finish — A toasty & spicy finish, decent length.
In sum — The balance is fantastic. A wonderfully mature whisky but with enough spice to give you a “what for”. A celebratory dram and one to enjoy on special occasions and with friends. As you can see, I’ve done just that!