Danny’s favourite distillery makes another SMWS appearance with this 17 year old Arran that was distilled on 20th April 2000. It was matured for 16 years in an ex-Bourbon barrel and then re-racked into a 2nd fill toasted hogshead for another year of slumbering. One of 234 bottles. Spicy & Dry flavour profile.
Nose: Rhubarb as promised. Sweet and tart and slightly stewed. Peach cobbler, bananas and lemons come together with some deep earthy and spicy notes – fresh wood planks, sandalwood, cedar, damp hay and strong black tea. Adding water I find the honey notes promised along with some freshly baked apple pie.
Taste: Sharp with zingy sherbet fruits and a fair degree of oak bitterness. Black tea again along with tart lemons and crystalline ginger. Water brings out the earthy notes further, but reduced the prominent of the sweet fruits. No real discernible vanilla in here for me.
Finish: Medium with some drying cinnamon spice.
This 17 year old Arran is satisfying enough, with some interesting spice and earthy flavours, but they’ve somewhat taken over the natural Arran spirit (which I think works best in no-messing ex-Bourbon barrels). There’s quite some sharpness and tartness here, which I suspect have come from the rerack into the toasted barrel.
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