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Arran 12 Year Old Cask Strength Batch 5

Average score from 2 reviews and 2 ratings 84

Arran 12 Year Old Cask Strength Batch 5

Product details

  • Brand: Arran
  • ABV: 52.9%
  • Age: 12 year old
  • Bottled: 2015

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Arran 12 Year Old Cask Strength Batch 5

Arran is a top 3 distillery for me. Possibly my favorite. Out of the 14 whiskies I have right now, 4 are Arran. Needless to say, I like Arran.

This 12yo CS has been on my wish list for a while and I finally found one a few weeks ago. This is batch 5, a large batch relatively speaking, with 18,000 bottles released in May 2015.

Bottled at 52.9%, this has been opened for 2 weeks and is about 3/4 full. This review sample will be neat in a glencairn, and has been sitting for about 30min

Nose: Tropical fruits. Grilled pineapple, mango, black grapes, ripe citrus. Definately vanilla white cake and honey. Near the end there is a tad bit of that sea salt and brine note that I enjoy so much from the 14 but it is not as prominent here as the fruit and vanilla cake overwhelm it. Sweet, no alcohol nip at all.

Palate: Loads of very ripe tropical fruit. Apricot, mango, mandarin oranges, pineapple, black grapes, figs, a bit of almond butter and marzipan. Creamy texture and no burn, no one would guess this was nearly 53%. The one thing I miss? That island sea breeze. I really want some salinity or brine that I am accustomed to in Arran whiskies.

Finish: Ripe oranges and vanilla white cake. Medium-long in length.

Overall: This is enjoyable. I need to be in the Bahamas drinking this. I might save the rest for summer. It's a bit of a one trick pony as there isn't much savory to balance out the tropical sweetness. It longs for some island sea notes. Thankfully what is there is good. It does not need water at all. However, it does need air. I was underwhelmed when I opened this a few weeks ago. Air has really opened it up (this glass also sat for a while.) I will say this against it, at $70usd, Laphroig 10CS destroys this. (Different styles I know but same price.) Also, would I buy this again if the 14 were sitting next to it for a similar/lower price? Absolutely not. The 14 is much more balanced and complex (it's just not cask strength.)

@Nozinan right, brain fart....

@Nozinan expressionless

does it make it worse that I work in finance and deal with FX rates on a daily basis? haha


Arran 12 YO Cask Strength Batch 5 – 30 cc sample (Master of Malt)

Before December I had only heard of Arran but never tried its whisky. Having received as a gift a SMWS bottling, I opened it on January 3 and was greatly impressed. It was because of this experience that I noticed that the LCBO had a 12YO CS in stock (this batch). I ordered this sample from Master of Malt in order to decide if I want to plunk down $100 for a bottle. According to my reading on the net this is put together from both sherry and bourbon casks.

I had a sample of the Arran 100 proof which I tasted and reviewed, followed by a revisiting of the SMWS bottling to prepare myself for this sample, which I opened and reviewed today, in my usual manner.

Nose: Sweet apple, slight vegetal note. Maybe a little vanilla. I may be coming down with a cold but that’s all I really get. Inoffensive, but not exciting. 20/25

With water, the fruitiness is more pronounced and the vegetal note fades. Some green apple. A little light syrup. Even more water and more time and the vegetal note reappears slightly, and the green fruits assert themselves more.(21/25)

Taste: sweet arrival, hot from the alcohol. Some vanilla but otherwise not specific flavours come through. No whisky pop rocks here. 19/25

As with the 100 proof, the water makes the mouth-feel creamier, and the development sweeter, but no huge flavours appear. (20/25)

Finish is dry, unremarkable. No change with water 19/25.

Balance: Not much to balance here, but the nose and the palate are in synch. 20/25

The modified Ashok manoeuvre has no effect and it does not change with Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered cocoa nibs except that the mouth-feel thins a little.

Total score Neat: 78/100
With Water: 80/100

I actually preferred the Arran 100 Proof over this expression. This one does not excite me. It simply has no complexity or bold flavour to entice me. When I tasted the SMWS bottling and then saw this at the LCBO, those bottles kept calling to me ($100 for a 12YO CS is not bad here).Thanks to Master of Malt and to my brother (who delivered it) for allowing me to try this sample and make the decision to save my money for something else.

I'm so sad to read the lackluster review but perhaps it's best for my wallet. I am a big fan of Arran and it seems the independents are getting great reviews. SAQ recently ran out of 14,they received a few special OB releases but none very exciting (and all NAS). I missed the boat on an SAQ only sherry cask recently, I wish they would do SAQ only bottlings more often as I think the market is perfect for it but that's what you get when the government handles liquor sales, sorry went off on a rant.

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