When we launched our Arran 20 Year Old 1996 for MMM, we were the first to bottle an Arran single cask at that age and at cask strength, something we are very proud of. Much later we found out that we almost missed that honor, if not for problems with labelling and importing this particular release from Henk Vis. He was the owner of a cask that he bottled together with SWS – the Sente Whisky Club – from West Flanders. Mr Vis had purchased the cask way back when after reading about the opportunity in Times Magazine. 2016 was the 10th anniversary of the SWS club, so this was a good time to bottle. But the aforementioned problems meant the bottles only reached the club in May 2017. Sold out in a flash, surely. Luckily the president of the club – Mr Johan Tack, who is still a bit envious of our release, but in a friendly way – was able to provide me with a bottle. And a generous sample to boot!
Absolutely grand nose! Wonderfully sweet on all kinds of fruit with peach and pineapple in the lead, followed closely with hints of coconut. Light brown sugar. Add some butterscotch. And gooseberries. And mango. It keeps coming. Wonderfully light sherry.
Good body. Nice. Creamy and round. Quite spicy, too. Great fruit cocktail with peach in the lead, joined by grapefruit and kiwi. A peppery note, ginger and liquorice make it a tad feisty.
The finish is very long, spicy and fruity with a light better touch at the death.
Very, very nice Arran (truly as good as the one we bottled, I kid you not!), that was kept a bit under the radar as it is a club only bottling. If you see it available somewhere: grab it!