Arran Machrie Moor Cask Strength 2nd Ed.

"I decent peated whisky, although it does miss some distinct character to make it stand apart from let's say, lightly peated whisky from Islay"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Peat is not the first thing that comes to mind when considering whisky from Arran, however, they have been releasing it since 2010. Machrie Moor, named after the Isle of Arran’s famous peat bog, and featuring Bran, dog of the epic warrior Fingal, on the label. with 20 ppm, it possesses a reasonable peat level (close to for instance Bowmore) and it has been releases as a regular 46% and a cask strength version. The latter will be part of our review today.

Nose

Initially, soft peat come forward that is backed up by Arran’s usual fruitiness with fresh apples and pears. A few drops of citrus fruits, and a light coastal influence with some sea spray and wet moss, are also there. All very well balanced and very friendly. Raspberry sweets, no make that strawberry, lemon skin, and a few drops of orange juice. A drop of water brings out more barley sugar, ripe apples, a few raisins, cinnamon, and a more mineral side. The citrus fruits remind me somewhat of Caol Ila, which is surely not a bad thing I would say.

Taste

The palate is less fruity at first and contain more peat, moss, leaves, and stables (no idea how you could taste that, though). Almost a lighter and younger apprentice of Lagavulin. Almost instantly, the bourbon cask influence comes forward. Oranges, lemons, lime, and vanilla, with fresh apple compote, the latter a touch of Arran. Water subdues the peat and brings out more sweetness. Also there are some vanilla sugar, baker’s cream, and salty crisps. It is quite fresh. The finish is fairly long with more vegetal peat, salt and lemons. I would say this is quite good.

Overall

I decent peated whisky, although it does miss some distinct character to make it stand apart from let’s say, lightly peated whisky from Islay. The Arran character is there, but it is almost pushed away by the bourbon cask influence. What’s left is good, but not great (yet). Remains interesting, though.

What others say

Whiskybase: 85.18 (99 votes) * @TheWhiskeyJug: 89/100 *
Read for yourself

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
35%
Nose 85%
Taste 85.5%
Balance 86%
Depth 85%
Finish 85%
Score