Arran 1997/2014 ‘Miss Black’ (Distillery Exclusive)
I visited Arran distillery two years ago. When entering the visitor centre one of the guys I was travelling with rushed to the store and grabbed a sherry matured Arran from the shelves. Only five bottles were left at that point, and he urged me to get one too. He was obviously better informed than I was. I’m talking about the Miss Black Distillery Exclusive, a whisky that I’ve enjoyed immensely ever since opening my bottle.
I’m not sure if they still do this, but at Arran, distillery employees take turn in selecting a visitor centre exclusive bottling. The Miss Black bottling was selected by visitor centre manager Faye Black to celebrate her marriage to husband David in the visitor centre in Lochranza.
Arran 1997/2014 Miss Black (51,6%, OB, C#820)
Nose: Big and sherried, yet not overpowering. I know, but it’s possible. Dried red fruit, milk chocolate and brown sugar with small amount of cappuccino. Also plums and cherries with a hint of burnt matches. An incredible nosing whisky.
Taste: More big sherry notes, with raisins, plums and fudge. Also some dark chocolate, cherry syrup and cinnamon, with a hint of mint and some tobacco even.
Finish: Long with all the flavours making an encore.
What’s not to like here? I should’ve bought all the remaining bottles in the visitor centre, but honestly I’m happy I was able to buy just this one.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.