Food & Drink

Review: Arran Barrel Reserve, 10 Years Old, and Robert Burns (2022)

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It looks like everybody in Scotland is getting in on the model refresh recreation nowadays, together with Arran — now not “The Arran” — which is certainly one of only a few whiskies discovered on the Isle of Arran, a small island nestled between Campbeltown and Glasgow.

Regardless of the refreshed and re-labeled vary, Arran continues to area a variety of single malts and blends (together with two confusingly named after Robert Burns) and even a cream liqueur. We’re simply dipping a toe within the lineup at present, together with contemporary appears at three of its most generally obtainable whiskies.

Arran Barrel Reserve – “American oak, pure color.” NAS single malt aged in bourbon barrels. A bit brash on the nostril, barely musty at occasions, however total simple — with a powerful concentrate on cereal and a lesser emphasis on the barrel. The palate is kind of a bit sharper than anticipated, and had I not identified in any other case I’d have guessed there was a contact of sherry affect on this bottling as a result of rush of citrus peel and a lingering lemon character. That fades with time because it develops on the palate, ultimately revealing a extra smoldering character of sesame oil, sandalwood, and a pinch of pepper. Gently salty — simply barely — with a barely tarry end. It’s a wonderful whisky contemplating the worth, however it’s nowhere close to as evocative as Arran’s different expressions will be. 86 proof. B / $50 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Arran 10 Years Previous (2022) – We final reviewed this whisky in 2012. Immediately the whisky is sweeter than I recall, the honey and nougat traits extra quick and vibrant on each nostril and palate. Recent, heathery granary notes give the palate a way of the earth, with rolling notes of candy breakfast cereal, a spritz of grapefruit peel, and simply the lightest trace of rosemary. Positively nutty on the end, although my point out of almond notes 10 years prior is much less distinct at present, maybe owing to the wholesome slug of candy honey that provides the whisky its exuberance. A lightweight contact of inexperienced herbs returns on the end — once more, evoking rosemary. Arran 10 will not be overwhelming in its complexity — however it’s, to make sure, robust to place down. It’s a stellar base for elevated Scotch cocktails, too. 92 proof. A- / $60 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY] [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Arran Robert Burns Single Malt – One other NAS single malt, vatted from quite a lot of casks of various ages. Instantly a bit earthier than the prior releases, right here we discover Arran tempering the sweetness and letting the barrel do some extra of the speaking. Regardless of its approachable 43% abv, the whisky hits the nostril with a contact of booziness, gently winey with notes of tanned leather-based and baking spice evident. Once more, a lot of cereal is outstanding, however right here it’s extra brooding and aromatically dense. The palate gives no surprises, an enormous cereal bomb with mild, honey-laced sweetness, a leathery kick on the again finish, and a observe of tobacco and a few pungent inexperienced herbs on the end. Take the Barrel Reserve and slap it round a bit with oak staves and also you’ve obtained the thought: It’s obtained extra occurring, but in some way this expression is a bit cheaper. 86 proof. B+ / $43 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Arran 10 Years Previous (2022)




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