Arran 1998 20 Years Old (Whiskybroker.co.uk)
Imagine an independently bottled sherry matured single cask whisky from a respected Scottish distillery, aged for 20 years. What does that go for nowadays? Probably a lot. You’re dreaming if you think you can get it for less than 100 euro. Maybe for 150 if you’re lucky, but you probably have to dig a little deeper.
Unless of course that independent bottler is Whiskybroker.co.uk and the distillery is Arran. Just 18 months ago they released a whisky fitting the description above…for 65 euros. I’m not taking the piss out of you.
Arran 1998 20 Years Old (54.2%, Whiskybroker, C#615)
Nose: Opens up on sweet caramel and toffee with a whiff of tobacco leaves. Traces of chocolate but also oranges and peaches. Becomes fruitier as time passes, before diving into a savoury bath of soy sauce.
Taste: Big and somewhat spicy at first (cloves, pepper), but there’s plenty of room for notes of mocha, tobacco and cappuccino, closely followed by plums and toffee.
Finish: Lingering sweetness. Medium in length.
Plenty of little intricacies on the nose, lacking a little balance on the palate, but makes up for it in richness. Rather a good, well-matured Arran that was an absolute steal at its original price.
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.