Arran distillery is the only distillery on the Isle of Arran. It was founded in 1994 by Harold Currie and was officially opened in 1995. Most of the production goes into single malt whisky; however a small proportion is used for Arran’s range of blended whiskies, such as Lochranza Blend, Robert Burns Blend and Arran Gold Single Malt Whisky Cream Liqueur. This limited edition was distilled in 1998 and drawn in 2011 from 22 ex-sherry hogsheads. ‘The Westie’ was named after Ruaraidh, distillery manager James MacTaggart’s West Highland Terrier.
The nose is light, quite malty, and gets fruitier along the way. There are plenty of orange flavours, followed by lemon and honey. Soft wood spice is making itself felt, too, and a light tartness covers it all.
The palate is sweeter than the nose and quite silky. Lemon and honey flavours are back, followed by hints of vanilla and apricots. Towards the end this gets rather spicy.
The finish is pleasantly long, warming, and rather dry at the very end.
This was my very first Arran and it made for a great drinking experience. All in all this was smooth and silky, and while I enjoyed the palate most the overall result was very well balanced and satisfactory.