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This is the peated Arran. Since 2004, the distillery produced some mildly peated spirit (14 ppm phenols) and now a limited release of 9000 bottles is made available.
Arran Machrie Moor (46%, OB 2011, 9000 btl.)
Nose: the expected notes of a very young whisky: sweet malt, pear drops, some coconut. Artificial in its fruitiness. The peat comes second, it’s more of a mild grassy / smokey undertone. A few yeasty notes as well. Topped off by fresh citrus.
Mouth: overly sour start (lemon), then some peat smoke, then back to sweeter notes like apple candy. Fades on a bitter (tonic) & salty (liquorice) combo. The palate has the same problem as the nose: it tries a lot of different tricks but none of them really work. Finish: now developing an enjoyable pastry-like quality alongside the peat smoke.
This Arran Machrie Moor is clearly not about heavy peat, it’s not about juicy fruits, it’s not about complexity, it’s not about balance... I fear this is simply a way to widen the range, like the wine finishes. I’d stick to the excellent Arran Peacock or Arran 14yo.