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Arran Amarone Cask Finish

Rubbery wood and blackberry

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@vanPeltReview by @vanPelt

11th Jan 2014


Arran Amarone Cask Finish
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

First vapor: Pumpernickel date bread.

Nose: Rubber at first: rubbery cocoa, rubbery walnut oil. A faint sense of a next-day glass of merlot (which can share that rubberiness), and perhaps liquorice root. Otherwise quite light at first. Warming in the hand brings stewed raspberry to this rubbery mix.

Palate: Entrance of salty caramel, rubber and walnut. This main theme is delightfully flavorful. Building up the base, along with these other flavors, is something a bit tough to pull out: some good juicy blackberry. Midpalate, gives tannic wood-influenced dark chocolate and dry sour cherry. Oaky walnut follows through.

Finish: Walnut oil, with white pepper in the back of the tongue and some tannic drying on the sides.

I bought this because I've found quality malts from Arran, and because an Amarone finish sounded appealing. It is not like other Arrans I've had, being rather rubbery and woody-- I wonder whether these notes come from the Amarone or earlier maturation. In any case, the nose and finish are not my style, and the overall woody oak-like influence it more than I would like. The best part is that wonderful palate entrance, which is well-balanced and juicy.

The closest malt that comes to mind is probably Glenfiddich 15. The Arran entrance is stronger (due to 50% ABV) whereas the 'fiddich was overall more watery. Nevertheless I think I prefer the latter for its less dry & less woody flavor set.

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Victor commented

Seems like there is a good bit of batch variation with the Arran Amarone Finish. Rubbery flavours? Sounds like the Arran Amarone I tasted from a batch shipped to Canada. Didn't like that one much, probably less than an 83 score. I did have some from another batch that was great, probably an 88-91 pt whisky. It is good to be aware of these variations and calculate whether or not one is feeling "lucky" in deciding to buy a bottle of this or that.

10 years ago 0

vanPelt commented

I feel better after reading your message, @Victor. None of the other reviews sounded like my experience. So I thought mine was worth presenting for exactly the reason you mention (bringing awareness of variations). What a shame, I had expected to like this a lot. And you are right: 83 was the upper end of possible scores I could give (and only if I focus on the palate). I could score as low as 78 for the overall experience-- and may reserve my right to do so...!

10 years ago 0