When I tried the first Arran Devil’s Punch Bowl, now more than 4 years ago, I was qutie impressed. Unfortunately I missed the second release, but thanks to my buddy Manny I was able to get a generous sample of the last one. Again it is composed with quite a few different casks, but this time no vintages are mentioned, only the cask types and numbers. They are the following: Oloroso Sherry Butts #219, 220, 714, 1643, 1648, 1827, 1828, 2105; French Oak Barriques #696-698, 700, 701, 703-705 and Bourbon Barrels #042, 050, 052, 074, 079. There, you anoraks are also served. This third and last release got the tagline The Fiendish Finale. Fiendish, meaning cruel, devlish or evil, is a word that was used in the 19th Century, but does not appear much nowadays. Aromatic nose – albeit sugary sweet – on caramel, cherries, peach, banana, litchi and white chocolate. There is also a hint of grapefruit in the background, just like some oranges and vanilla. Even further back – almost hidden – is a mild salty breeze. It is quite creamy and piquant. Toffee apples come first, then some citrusy notes and finally some plums and peach. Yes, this is very fruity, but nutmeg, white pepper and loads of toasted oak make it a lot spicier than the nose made you anticipate. Some honey and toffee soften things up a little. From the second sip forwards, the fruit evolves towards the candied and dried variety.
The long finish remains spicy and sweet, with some nuts at the death. Right before it disappears, a touch of bubblegum rears its head.
While I think this is a nice and interesting malt – well-made, if you know what I mean – I did like the first release much better (I cannot judge the second one). Thanks, Manny!