Arran “Batch 4” (52%, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, 1270 bottles, 2014, 50 cl)

After the Bruichladdich that was bottled more than ten years ago, we move on to a more recent bottling distilled on a different Scottish Island. It’s an Arran. Well that’s about it, we don’t know a lot more. OK, let’s try a little harder then. It’s obviously an NAS Arran, that was bottled at 52%. It might be cask strength or not. Anything goes I guess. looking at the whole range, some big names, like Macallan, have pretty low ABV’s. We also don’t know the distillery date, but we do know this was bottled in 2014. We also don’t know if it’s a single cask bottling or not and what kind of cask was used, but I understand that most, if not all come from multiple casks. We also know that this was bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company, yes that’s its name. We’ll call it TBWC to reduce the chance of getting RSI. TBWC can be linked to UK drinks retailer Master of Malt (MoM), just click on the link and you’ll see why. Since 2012 MoM started with their TBWC, issuing a lot of Single Malts and some other stuff in nice looking 50 cl bottles with comic book labels. This Arran reminds me of Tin Tin.

Arran Batch 4 (52%, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, 1270 bottles, 2014, 50 cl)Color: White wine.

Nose: Malty and unusually fresh. Sweetish and fruity. Yellow fruits you get from candy. synthetic pineapple. Grainy and gritty, which gets less over time. Some citrus, lemon and lime, mixed in with a more creamy vanilla note. Already thinking refill Bourbon, are you? The whole seems pretty light and a bit young, but not in a way it should remind you of new make spirit. It’s overall pleasant, but not very complex nor does it evolve a lot, but yes its nice. Given some time and movement, to aireate the Whisky, more spicy notes from oak presents itself, as well as some floral notes, so now its nice and lovely. Whiffs of alcohol you get from smelling a well made wodka, and that is not the same as the new make spirit I mentioned earlier. So no off notes, and also nog big bomb in your glass. Restrained and elegant. Feminine if you allow me to say it.

Taste: Again fresh and fruity, malty and fresh. Toffee and vanilla, but also a sappy and leafy vegetal quality. Young wood? Paper and dried peach with ice-cream. Licorice and hazelnuts, with a hint of Cappuccino and mocha. I like the strength of this, especially combined with the profile it has, but it is a bit hot. It reminds me a bit of old bottlings of young Lowlanders.

Sure this may be from re-re-refill Bourbon casks, hence the color. Hell, maybe even the casks were tired. Sure, in many ways its simple and smells of alcohol. It doesn’t show a lot of evolution and so forth, but it’s so damn drinkable! OK, I’ll stop swearing now. I especially like the fact it does remind me of old Lowlanders, that is something that took me by surprise.

The bottle looks great, but sometimes that means that what’s inside is not so nice. This time however, TBWC have managed to source a very interesting and different take on Arran. Highly drinkable and in a way reminds me of yesteryear. Maybe its a profile for aficionado’s since the lowland style is almost gone, and is getting extinct. Therefore I can imagine a lot of people not liking this. Having said that, this is also not a typical Lowland style Whisky. It lacks a more pronounced citrussy feel and especially the grassy notes to be a true Lowlander. To be on the safe side: yes I know Arran is an Island and not part of Lowland.

Points: 85

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