Aug 142015
 

Isle of Arran distillery wasted no time in getting into the private bottlings business, and in its two decades of operation, has become a mainstay in private bottlings and festivals.

Photo Credit:  arranwhisky.com

Photo Credit: arranwhisky.com

This bottle is no different, as it is a sherry hogshead that was bottled for the 35th birthday of Jan Vissers, owner of the Single Malt Whisky Shop in Zammel Belgium. Jan is Arran’s brand ambassador, and this bottling is a nice gesture of appreciation by the distillery.

Established in 1995, Arran just completed it’s planned core range of 10, 14 and 18, with a line of finishes and a slew of special bottlings. The marketing department is doing a really good job there!

My friend Joris shared this beautiful sherry bomb with me – Thank you!!

Photo Credit: onversneden.com/

Photo Credit: onversneden.com/

Isle of Arran Private Cask 1996, Edition Jan Vissers, Distilled 11 December 1996, Bottled 9 September 2013 (55.7% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Mahogany, tiny beads rolling down the glass slowly.

Nose: Leather, tobacco leaf, treacle, milk chocolate, dried peaches, notes of maltiness, pepper, notes of dry sherry with sweetness. Water brings out some perfume and enhances the sherry sweetness.

Palate: Spicy with hot pepper and clove, jasmine and eucalyptus oil, with hints of dryness. Water intensifies this dram making jasmine and the spice more vivid, together with an added sweetness and dryness.

Linger: Dryness on the top of the palate and inside of cheeks, wood spices on the tongue with notes of coffee.

Conclusion

This is a beautiful sherry cask, which brings out a some very unexpected notes!

Sep 052014
 

A cute gimmick as far as gimmicks go, the still run to produce this particular cask was started on December 31st, 1999 and ended after midnight on 1 January, 2000 – thus intending to span the turn of the Millennium. Sadly, they were off by a year, as the 20th century ended only at 11:59:59 PM 2000, ushering in the third millennium a full year after this (see Wikipedia here). Nevertheless, this expression works well.

 

Photo Credit: www.fresher.ru

Photo Credit: www.fresher.ru

In making this expresson, the product of this run was put into 35 ex bourbon barrels and 10 sherry hogsheads, which matured until 2013, when the combined whisky was filled into 7800 bottles.

Thank you Raviv for sharing this sample with me!

 

Photo Credit: thewhiskyexchange.com

Photo Credit: thewhiskyexchange.com

Isle of Arran Millennium Cask, 1/7800 (53.5% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Straw, quick legs but significant residue of drops on the glass.

Nose: Sweet fresh grass, citrus, confectionery, oatmeal, vinegar and nutmeg, pound cake and light sandalwood with a hint of cumin. Some water draws out the sweet candy notes, leaning towards cotton candy.

Palate: Fresh fruit and spicy nuts, with the sharp pepper spices getting stronger when left on palate and some hidden honey.

Linger: long, with pepper, cumin and peppermint notes, together with some lemony freshness. The inside of the cheeks remain a little tarty with the linger.

 

Conclusion

While not technically THE millennium cask, this is a nice whisky, with the combination of ex bourbon and ex sherry casks doing their jobs quite well.