As you may have noticed I haven’t been writing as many reviews lately as I used to, but I’m trying to pick up the pace a bit again to keep the content coming for you guys. While brainstorming on how to do that I came up with a fun idea… As you may or may not know, I work one day a week in the amazing Café Zilt Whisky & Beer bar in Amsterdam, where I get to pour some amazing drams to our customers. And thus, I thought it might be a nice idea to start reviewing those bottles. A series I’d like to call “From the Shelves” and which I will be kicking off with a review of the Arran Sherry Cask!
The Arran Sherry Cask is a whisky I always highly recommend to our guests because it’s simply one of the best “bang for your buck” whiskies out there. And that’s not just because it’s so affordable, it’s also just an amazing whisky with plenty of depth and complexity. Bottled unchillfiltered, with its natural colour, and at an ABV of 55,8% this is one to sip, and savour.
These “From the Shelves” reviews will be posted on my own blog and on the blog from Café Zilt, but aside from that cooperation I get no compensation for my blogs and my reviews will always remain independent and unbiased.
Tasting Notes: Arran Sherry Cask
ABV: 55,8% (111,6 proof)
Category: Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Islands Region)
Natural Colour: Yes
Dark dried fruits and nutty influences await just beyond the rim of the glass. Dried dates, figs and cranberries are paired beautifully with honey roasted pecans and a whiff of hazelnut. Given some time some hot porridge with stirred in molasses becomes noticeable as well. A drop of water brings forth some notes of vanilla and caramel, with créme brûlée coming to mind as a fitting tasting note.
The high ABV and a bit of youth are immediately noticeable as you take your first sip. It’s a good thing to swirl it round your mouth for a bit to let your palate get accustomed to these fiery elements. After that initial burn fades, you’ll notice clear hints of strawberry lemonade and black currant marmalade, with just a hint of walnut to give the palate depth beyond its fruity sweetness. At this high an ABV it’s fun to play around with water a bit and in this case, it brought forth dark chocolate cherry bonbons for me.
The finish is long and sweet and far less tannic than one might expect from an ex-sherry cask. This dram doesn’t leave the mouth dry at all. Instead it let’s you savour those strawberry lemonade and black currant marmalade notes that were found on the palate. Just a hint of liquorice root appears near the very end of the finish. But you very well might miss it if you’re not looking for it. After adding water, the length of the finish doesn’t change all that muc. But it does make the liquorice root notes much more pronounced.
Even though you do notice some of this dram’s youth on the palate, it’s in no way intrusive or enough to put you off the dram altogether. In fact, I believe that its youth highlights the sweeter elements of the sherry cask. Without making too much way for the darker tannic notes. Either way, this is a whisky that I will always have a bottle of on my own shelves as well. Because for the value of this bottle, it simply can’t be beat. If you’re looking for a cask strength sherry bomb on a budget, this one is hard to beat!