Arran 1996 HoMc

"One of the oldest bottling to date from Arran that still harbours the distillery's character"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Since Arran was opened in 1995, this must be one of the oldest matured spirit. The bottler is also operative since 1995 and was founded by Anthony (how surprising) McCallum, belonging to one of the oldest noble clans in Scotland. They bottle both whisky and rum, while I must say I do not come across them very often. Most of their bottlings have been release with .5% strength of alcohol, which apparantly is related to numerology dating back to the origins of the family. 

Nose

Rather heavily spirited, but I find some butter, after a while it settles. Some minerals, waxes and a hint of (diluted) honey. Rather thin at first and not very complex. However, after settling in the glass for a while more scent come up. I find apple compote, cooked pears, hints of hay and grass, diluted olive oil and candle wax. Maybe also a faint hint of citrus and some fresh sea air.

Taste

Begins rather harsh, but then becomes smoother. The kick of the alcohol remains, but I taste butterscotch, cream butter, vanilla custard and hints of tanned peaches. Luckily the alcohol is drawn to the background to provide a more comfortable experience. The buttery taste is very persistent and lingers long. Behind the bourbon cask influence small hints of metallics and waxes. Definitely beeswax, which is getter stronger by the minute. Add to that some honey, a hint of farm yard, tanned peaches with a bit too much taste from the tin, and copper. I also get some salty orange. Lovely creamy and moutcoating aftertaste with hints of peaches, sour cherries and honey sponge cake.

Overall

A good bottling, which (if you know it) harbours some typical Arran characteristics. It also stays rather close to the distillate, which I find always something to cherish. On the other side, I do not find this the most complex and characterful release that I have tasted from this distillery. Probably this bottling might be something for real Arran fans.

What others say

Whiskybase: 86.96 (27 votes)
Read for yourself

This sample was part of organised by Norbert Terbarts!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
60%
Sweet <-> Spicy
55%
Nose 85.5%
Taste 87%
Balance 86%
Depth 86.5%
Finish 87%
Score