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Damn it Arran

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@casualtorture
casualtorture started a discussion

As many here know, I am quite the fan of Arran. However, we have had some troubling news from them over the past few weeks. Firstly, Arran 14 being discontinued (I bunkered several), and now we have a new, re-branded core line-up of Arran whisky. Here is a link in case you're curious.

arranwhisky.com/about/news/…

Apart from the labels (which look awful and compared to the current ones but that is subjective. It looks like Balvenie.) the core range will be as follows: - Arran 10 year 46% (unchanged) - Arran "Barrel Reserve" aged in 100% bourbon casks bottled at 43% (new) - Arran Quarter Cask "The Bothy" cask strength (unchanged) - Arran "The Bodega" cask strength (sherry matured, new)

I did not think I would see Arran go down this path of hip labels, marketing and NAS releases. At lease two of these are cask strength, but the "barrel reserve" is a weak 43%abv (the core range used to have a minimum of 46% abv.). I would definately give the cask strength sherried one a try, and the newly labelled 18yo and 21yo will be released in October, but loosing the 14yo and picking up more NAS releases is nearly devastating to me as someone who is a self-proclaimed fan of Arran. Dark days we live in...

about one month ago

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Replies: page 1/2

@cricklewood
cricklewood replied

I was wondering when someone would talk about this, figured it should be you wink Truly it's more of the same but at an accelerated pace. I think with the opening of their new distillery on the Island they were bound to rebrand, the peated whisky will eventually be under the umbrella of the new Lagg distillery going forward.

I like the bottle shape but am not crazy about the labeling but no surprise they've contracted the darling firm Stranger & Stranger they are responsible for the design work for Compass Box, All the bacardi whiskys (Craigelachie, Deveron etc..) and tons of other spirit brands.

In the end the content is going to be the most important, will the whisky still be of the same caliber going forward. I agree that the loss of the 14 is significant, it truly was an excellent whisky in it's category and you can see that it's absence in the range between the 10 and the 18 will be felt.

As for the NAS stuff, there's always been a couple of entry NAS expressions, Lochranza reserve and Robbie Burns both at 40 or 43% I suspect the barrel reserve is coming in to replace the former.

As for the Cask strength Sherry cask...honestly I don't know, the Sherry monster category is pretty saturated at the moment but then again it's also a very popular profile so who knows?

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

So 3 of their 6 core expressions will now be NAS.Two of the age-stated expressions will undoubtedly be completely unaffordable for the average whisky drinker (the 18 year and 21 year are above my tax bracket, and I make a decent-ish wage). Add to this all the "cask series" whiskies which are NAS. I have to say it; I'm really disappointed that Arran is going this route. Oh well, there are plenty of other distilleries to explore. Cool new bottles though.

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

@casualtorture

@OdysseusUnbound yes now will be a good time to explore since I have the 14 stocked up.

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

RIP Arran 14. You will be missed.

about one month ago 4Who liked this?

@ajjarrett
ajjarrett replied

@casualtorture

Well, from one hoarder to another, I mean from one enthusiast to another, good job! Get what you like when you can, especially before the prices inflate out of your budget.

25 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@ajjarrett hey if you like it you buy it. If you like it a lot, you buy several. Tomorrow is NOT guaranteed.

25 days ago 5Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Victor wise words indeed. And how I ended up with more whisky than I can ever drink in one lifetime.

25 days ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

I'm just hoping when they relaunch the 18 and 21 (the only released the 21 less than a year ago anyway) they don't do a Balblair style massive price hike.

25 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Frost
Frost replied

This line up change motivated a 14 YO purchase.

Also, in the last 10 years how many bottle re-designs has Arran undergone? Three?

25 days ago 3Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

I've been seeing the 18 at $120 Can recently. That's a very good price for an 18 year old. I'm tempted. Still lament the demise of the 14 though. @Victor turned me on to that one a few years ago. Didn't anticipate this or I would have stocked the bunker.

24 days ago 3Who liked this?

@casualtorture

@Frost yeah this will be 3 or 4. I still have a bottle of the older 14yo design.

24 days ago 0

Wierdo replied

There's not a lot of sense in buying the 14 now in the UK. Since they discontinued it and most places have run out. Those that still have it want getting on for £60 for a bottle. You can pick up the 18 for £75.

23 days ago 0

@cricklewood
cricklewood replied

@BlueNote the 18 at the price is indeed a good deal. I picked one up on sale from Zyn this past winter. The 18 is on par quality wise with what you've know from Arran.

23 days ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@cricklewood Craft Cellars in Calgary has a15% off sale on right now, so I grabbed the Arran 18 and, with the help of a couple of friends, made up a 6 bottle order which brings the shipping cost per bottle way down.

20 days ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@cricklewood I need to check Zyn out. What's their shipping cost like?

20 days ago 0

Jonathan replied

I liked the 14, but more important, friends who were into whisky liked it. This is going to backfire , and I take no pleasure--or god forbid. shadenfreude---in saying this.

19 days ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

Arran have now released the new bottles for the 18 and 21 year olds. I asked them on Facebook if they will be increasing prices. This was their response:

'No, the prices are all remaining more or less the same. The 10yo has increased by £1.'

8 days ago 0

@MadSingleMalt

I might have mentioned this elsewhere, but I recently saw heaps of Arran 10 marked down to a cool $25 each.

8 days ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@MadSingleMalt you did mention it, and now you’re just rubbing it in. wink

8 days ago 2Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@BlueNote, forgive me! As it turns out, I'm not even going to open that Arran 10 myself. I ended up using it as an economic wedding gift for a family member, who I can only hope will share next time I visit.

I'm pretty sure I've never tasted an Arran.

8 days ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@BlueNote I agree the 18 is excellent. I've actually never had the highly regarded 14. When I went to buy my first Arran the 18 was on offer so I got that instead.

With regard to the 14 no longer being available, I'm sure I've heard this isn't a permanent thing. They just don't have enough stocks at that age to have in the range currently. Like with the Glendronach 15. I think they intend to bring it back at some point.

Which would make sense because there's an obvious gap in the range of their age statement whiskies. 10 then a jump to 18 then 21. They need a mid age range whisky.

8 days ago 2Who liked this?

RikS replied

@Wierdo Actually... and sadly... when we did our vertical with Arran's brand ambasador, we were told that the Arran14 ain't coming back (connosr.com/arran-pretty-comprehensive-ver…).

That said, if you had told me 10 years ago that I'd end up with a kitchen full of whisky I'd f course have called you a raving lunatic, so who knows what time will do... All things change! :)

7 days ago 4Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@Wierdo Perhaps if they were less trigger-happy with their eleventy billion NAS cask finishes they would not have run into this problem. Oh well. I had Arran tell me, on Twitter, that they're "not ashamed" to tell us that their NAS whiskies contain some 7-8 year old whisky, but that most of it is much older, whatever that means. Of course, without full disclosure, à la Bruichladdich, there's no way to verify the truth of that statement.

7 days ago 2Who liked this?

RikS replied

@OdysseusUnbound Of course I believe them... it makes perfect sense to full a 70cl bottle with 68cl of 18 year old whisky and then add a splash of 8 year old whisky, and sell it as an 8 year old, or a NAS.... ...

...

...

...

..... oh, no, wait. That makes absolutely NO sense what so ever.

7 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@RikS My question is "how much is much older"? Is 11 years old "much older" than 7 years old? Is 13 years old "much older"? Lots of muddying of the waters. I really like The Isle of Arran 10, but it is a bit overpriced here, even by Ontario standards. I'll likely stop buying their whisky unless I'm in another province or country.

7 days ago 0

RikS replied

@OdysseusUnbound I'm ambivalent about the whole thing, in a way. I do not care if the juice is 3yrs old or 35yrs... I judge the taste by, well, the taste. That said, I do not like when they are muddling the waters. Just tell me what's in the bottle. Or don't, by all means. But please distileries; spare me the wink, wink, nudge, nudge, it looks young but oh it's not.

The other day I tried e.g. Bimber's new juice. It was great! And, I think it's "barely legal" to be called whisky, but at least they were totally forthcoming about it which I liked.

7 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@RikS Taste is definitely most important, but I’ve always opposed the shady marketing aspect of NAS. And I don’t think the two positions (NAS is shady marketing & taste is THE most important consideration) are mutually exclusive. Either way, I’ve only owned 1 bottle of Arran (10 Year), and I believe I have samples of the 14 (which I’ve tried before and enjoyed) and the 18 (which I’ve never tried). Even if I never buy another Arran, I’m not losing out, and neither are they.

7 days ago 0

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