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Simon Thompson is a British gentleman who lives in Bordeaux. He specializes in distilling wine – you read that right – from this region. He developed a unique brandywine. But since recently he has also gotten involved with whisky. He bottled this cask of Arran which was finished on a Sauternes cask from the Château La Bouade. Quite an active cask, judging by the color of this Arran.
The nose is dark and sweet, but with a rather unfresh touch. Rotting oranges (which sometimes works, but not in this case). Hints of mashed potatoes in the background, which is a bit surprising. And it overpowers the fruitiness in this whisky. That fruitiness translates into sultanas and sweet apples. Loads of honey, but also quite floral. A somewhat strange nose, but it does get better if you allow it to breath somewhat. It clearly needs some time. And it can do with some water.
The arrival is sweet, very powerful and spicy. Phew! It scorches my throat. Immediately the sweetness of the wine is obvious, but it is also a lot more fruity than on the nose. I get some pineapple, apple sauce and even a hint of banana. The spices are ginger, nutmeg and some saffron. With a bit of water it all becomes sweeter, rounder and more agreeable.
The long finish is beautifully warm and spicy, even diluted.
I was a bit startled with the strange sensation on the nose, but on the palate and especially in the finish, this is a good Arran. Does need some water, I think. Thanks, Anverness, for the sample.