Arran 2011 Heavily Peated

"Another interesting release from the Isle of Arran. The peat is indeed completely different from the Machrie Moore with a higher influence of the sea and much sweeter (and powerful, obviously)."

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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One thing I like about Arran is that they bring out lots of different bottlings containing many different flavours (mostly meaning finishes) that there must something there for (almost) everybody. Apart from their vast range of wine finishes, these also involve bottlings that are closer to the original distillate. I liked the Trebbiano Cask version bottled for the Netherlands (84.5) and the 1996 bottled for The Nectar (86.5). For today, we will have a look (and more) at another one especially bottled for the Netherlands. This year we have a heavily peated version of Arran at 50 ppm, which is much higher than their Machrie Moore (20 ppm).

Nose

The start is surprisingly fruity and heavily sweet with apricots, apples, pears, oranges, accompanied by spices, gingerbread and a soft opening peat. The peat is fairly sweet and coastal with a hint of TCP. Still, you get a sense that there more power behind these fruits and sweetness. Water provides an improved balance and adds leaves, beach sand. It also becomes slightly fattier, while the fruits move toward a tropical side and the peat goes more towards cigar ashes. Vanilla and coconut come forward.

Taste

Whoah! This is something else. Much stronger compared to the nose, forceful, with lots of sweet peat and coastal influences. Oranges are in the back, while other fruits disappear in the sheer power. Let the water come. Much better now. We have many sour fruits (oranges, grapefruits) forming a better balance with the peat and coastality (coastalness?). A fairly long aftertaste with more peat, vanilla sweetness and orange skin.

Overall

Another interesting release from the Isle of Arran. The peat is indeed completely different from the Machrie Moore with a higher influence of the sea and much sweeter (and powerful, obviously). I particularly liked the nose, however, the palate lacked a little complexity. And it does need water.

What others say

Whiskybase: 84.78 (25 votes)
Read for yourself

Big thanks for sharing the sample

Scores

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

Cask influence
45%
Peat/smoke
65%
Nose 86.5%
Taste 85.5%
Balance 86%
Depth 85%
Finish 86.5%
Score