After a (small) hiatus to let my liver start running again, I’ve been able to sit down to the start of the samples I have to drink, as I worry if I don’t drink them that they will rise up, gain sentience, and then drink themselves as I sleep, as they are filled with wonderful happy juice.
While in the U.K. I put in an order from Master’s of Malt. One of the bottle sets that caught my eye was the Unusual Cask Whisky Tasting Set . I’m a fan of odd finishes, so I thought it would be fun.
I’d already reviewed the Balvenie 14 year Caribbean Cask here , so let’s see what else this tasting set has to offer.
Up first, chosen randomly by my wife, was The Arran Malt: The Amarone Cask Finish. Ignoring The Title for a second and The Potential overuse of capitals and The Naming Conventions, I’ve always been interested to try Arran. It’s low priced, it doesn’t have poor reviews, and they really like to finish off their whisky in interesting ways (including port, sherry, and in this case, Amarone).
However you’re probably wondering what the heck The Amarone (geez, once you start, it’s hard to stop with The “The” stuff) actually is. I certainly did, so after drinking this, I looked it up. Turns out it’s The Typically Rich Italian dry red wine made from partially dried grapes of The Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara varieties.
Well that’s certainly interesting by itself. Let’s see how The Arran Malt: The Amaraon Cask Finish turned out.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Nose: Roses, sour strawberries, nail polish remover, lemon, raspberry jam, pot pourri, dry sherry
Very strong floral notes mixed with tart, very alcoholic jam. Smells like The Greatest Bar/Flower shop ever, actually, if it existed and wasn’t just a fever dream I had. I should note that after awhile the floral notes subside, yet the alcohol never really does, even after nosing for 25 minutes.
Taste: Dry raspberry, burn, fennel, lemon rind, pear/apple, cloves, dirt
The whole mixture of flavours is quite nice. I’ve had a wine made from dried grapes before (not technically an Amarone as it was made in Canada) and this has some of The Characteristics of that wine, given the dry fruit. However it reminds you it’s a whisky with some spices and dirt. Not a big fan of The Dirt, to tell the truth, and unfortunately it dominates The Tongue as time goes on.
Finish: Plums, strawberry, grape, grit, lemon pepper, nutmeg
The Dirt is now The Grit, though it’s mixed with a lot of fruit. Almost too much fruit, the acidity and juiciness completely takes over the finish.
Conclusion: There are a lot of great aspects to this dram. First off it’s different and it develops unique flavours, which is what I was promised. It has a great Abv, nothing is lost, and it was generally a great dram. The Dirty Elements (great band name) were off putting, and thus it gets docked points for that. I’d probably pick up a bottle if I could, for no other reason than they do something different than normal. I look forward to trying other The Arran Malts in The Future, if for no other reason to capitalize “The” too much.
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