As part of the Toronto Whisky Society, we had a small getogether and drank our fucking faces off.
Like gentlemen and ladies and all that shit, you know? All hosted by one of our members, /u/devoz and his amazing wife.
Each of us brought a bottle to drink. And that was too many. So I understand if you take my reviews with a grain of salt. Or two.
We started, as we all should start, with a questionable whisky of lower proof and reviews that were… iffy.
Thanks to /u/Lasidar for bringing Arran SMWS 121.77 “Dunnage Warehouse Orange Boxes”. The first SMWS of the night. Surprising given our love of it.
Arran is funny to me, for a few reasons. The Arrans I’ve drank have been special editions. I meant to review more of the standard fare, however I kept collecting and collecting more and more Arrans that eventually I’m to the point where a Mega review may be too many for most people to read.
So I laugh when an Arran comes up, because it reminds me of the miniature army that is slowly building up power to eventually take over my apartment.
So I had to review this one. Because otherwise the others will gain sentience and rise up against me.
That’s why I drink.
Arran is an interesting distiller. From the ones I’ve had, I’ve enjoyed them finished with different cask finishes. This one is not finished, so I’m interested to see the difference, and see if they “need” the finishes.
Price: Currently sold out
Date Distilled: November 1995
Age: 19 years
Cask Type: Refill hogshead
Colour: 5Y 9/8
Nose: Plum, violets, Raid (yes, the bug spray), mango, orange
Odd nose. Really strong. Reminds me of a Highland. A young one. Not too complex, though it has some floral notes, and fruit.
The bug spray element is off putting, as you’d expect. Takes awhile to go away.
Taste: Toffee, light wood, key lime pie, orange
Nice taste on this one. Good toffee flavour, nice amount of wood, and good fruit/buttery flavours.
Not really much complexity beyond the citrus/cream/buttery notes. I find myself trying to find more and more, but not really much there. Does it’s small things, nothing too huge.
Finish: Tobacco, lemon rind, ginger, grapefruit, orange
More citrus, and a nice tobacco note. If you hear me say tobacco, you may say “sounds tasty”. You may forget (fairly) I’m not the biggest tobacco fan.
Nice spice now. Wish there was some of that for the rest of this.
Conclusion: Very orange/citrus forward. Lots of orange. Battles of the Oranges levels. A little more than I like.
Not to mention the tobacco, the lack of spice, and a general lack of complexity. Normally SMWS picks really nice barrels. And normally Arran works really well with finishes. So either this barrel didn’t have a lot going on, maybe it was too “subtle”, and maybe it had too many flavours I didn’t like.
Or maybe I’m just hugely biased towards finished whiskies (hint: I fucking am). None the less, this one didn’t do it for me, which was too bad.
Scotch review #511, Island review #47, Whisky Network review #830