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Arran Amarone Cask Finish

Pink whisky???

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@MegawattReview by @Megawatt

4th Sep 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This whisky spends around 8 years in bourbon casks before being transferred for 9 months to Amarone wine casks. The smell directly from the bottle strongly suggests grapes. When you pour a glass you see that the whisky is a pale but unmistakable pink hue, like strawberry Frutopia. Rest assured that this is the natural colour. It goes very cloudy with the addition of ice.

In the glass the fruit notes are soft: watermelon and honeydew. Underneath you can also notice Arran's trademark sappy fruity/herbal character and a note of licorice. It is a nice aroma though a bit restrained, even after dilution with ice.

The whisky is much bigger on the tongue, very malty in typical Arran fashion but also with the promised chocolate-cherry of the wine cask and a sort of minty freshness. It gets very salty at the back of the tongue, making for an interesting flavour development. There is that green, underripe sharpness that I noticed in the Arran 10 year old. This is a lively, flavourful malt that definitely benefits from the addition of water.

The whisky finishes dry. The fruit flavour fades slightly sour, leaving a pronounced saltiness behind. It lingers quite a while, also bringing some bitter chocolate notes back.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the whisky is how it manages to find balance between the characterful malt and heavy wine influence. Also it manages to make the pink colour seemm natural to the taste, what with the watermelon and cherry notes. And it plays well with sweet, bitter, and salty flavours. I'm not sure I like it quite as much as their St.Emilion finish, but it is pretty darn good nonetheless.

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dbk commented

Great review, @Megawatt! I spotted this at the LCBO yesterday and gave it a few moments' thought before passing it up. Your review has got me thinking about it a little bit more, now.

11 years ago 0

noryepls commented

Good review, I purchased a bottle of this last November and was rather disappointed at first. It was pink and all I could taste was the finish, even adding water didn't seem to open it up. Fortunately, this seemed to change some months after being opened and it finally began tasting like a scotch. I rather enjoyed it from that point though I don't think I'll buy another bottle because of how long it after opening it took to taste like a scotch for me.

11 years ago 0

Megawatt commented

I'm definitely enjoying this even more as I get better acquainted. At full strength in a snifter it is a real treat. Watermelon and cherry-flavoured candy.

11 years ago 0

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