Drouthy Neebors – Meet the Whisky Boys

Drouthy Neebors – Meet the Whisky Boys

Before I start I would just like to say a BIG THANK YOU to David Fowler and friends for inviting myself and Jim along to the interesting and informative tasting on Thursday 19th August. I would also like to thank the Arran Distillery for sending the lovely Celine to tell us all about their great Whiskies.

Celine commenced the evening by giving us some background about the Isle of Arran Distillery, advising that it has only been in production since 1995 at Lochranza, bringing back legal distillation to the Island, which has not been seen in over 150 years. Celine also informed us that the water supply used comes from Lochnadavie in the hills above the distillery and has been confirmed by connoisseurs as being perfect for making Whisky.

Celine kicked off the tasting with a 5 year 40% ABU Robert Burns (the only Whisky allowed to use this name). At 5 years old I expected something a bit rough and hot, but was pleasantly surprised by its smooth, yet full bodied roundness with a little peppery prickle that appealed to me. Next up was the Arran 100% peat at 9 years old. the rich and oily taste with a touch of fruit and toffee, finishing with a complex oaky dryness. A bit more water was required for this one, but once again, this dram suited me – Surprise surprise !!!!!

The Arran malt 10 years was the third tasting of the night, smooth, light, citrus on the nose, yet biscuity sweet followed by vanilla and that little spicy zing, WOAH – HOLD ME BACK !!!

Celine followed the 10 year old with a new vatting that was only launched the previous week at the Whisky Fringe in Edinburgh (MISSED IT ! Would someone please advise us of the dates for next year – a must for the Whisky Boys Calendar).

Anyway, this new vatting is called “The Peacock Limited Edition and has been made from a specially selected 20 casks only from 1996. The bottling is limited to 6000. Celine turned this one into a competition to see who could get the nearest tasking notes to the tasting team at the Distillery. I think we all got the same medium bodied, nutty, vanilla sherry smoothness, but it was the creaminess of the finish that Whisky Boy Jim found on his palate that won him and another member a copy of Jim Murray’s bible and a miniature of Arran 10 year old.

After all the excitement of his Big win Jim and the rest of us looked forward to the last taste of the evening and what a corker it was. It was an 11 year old in Oloroso which was cask finished for 8 months in a Muscatel barrel limited to 5000 bottles at 55 %. It was indeed a rich, fruity sherried dram with that extra spicy smoothness showing from the Muscatel cask, but in the aftermath of the tasting and over another dram or two the general consensus for Jim and I was that the Isle of Arran 10 year old was the top dram of the night and we looked forward to giving a bottle a right good tasting in the near future.


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3 Responses

  1. Hey! Great article, sounds like quite the evening you had there. Would you recommend purchasing a bottle of the Peacock? I’m trying to decide whether to taste it in a pub or get the bottle in, you see. Oh, also, I do believe that the next Whisky Fringe is on the 14th and 15th of August!

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