Whisky Review – Arran 2004 (bottled 2014) Orkney Bere Barley

Arran 2004 (bottled 2014) Orkney Bere Barley
56.2% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No added Colouring
£55.15 available from MasterOfMalt

Nose.

A lively, spicy, Barley rich nose. Vanilla. Pepper. Creamy fudge. There’s a not unpleasant oaky dust to the nose which takes forefront. Time in the glass and we get more butterscotch and creamy vanilla coming forward.

Palate.

Intensely rich vanilla custard. Creme brûlée. The mouthfeel is immense and silky. Touches of lemon rind and pith. A slight saltiness mid development which evolves into more lemon tart and cream notes. Really tasty and mouth twanging. This is a sour citrus dominant palate, and it’s very good at it. There’s a little sweetness offsetting this late in the development into the finish.

Finish.

Medium to long, citrus juices and peel, sugar and salt, custard and cream. Complex and enjoyable.

Adding water.

Added a few drops. The nose is more citrus dominated now, with many of the flavours from the palate now appearing intensively on the nose. The pleasant dustiness is more integrated with the lemon juices and vanillas more balanced. The palate has even more depth of flavour, with more richly intense lemon cheesecake notes and creamiest of vanilla. The sweetness comes much sooner and really is glorious now. Fantastically explosive palate. Very very impressed. The finish is longer, richer, warming and extremely satisfying. With a sour lemon note coming back at the very end, making the final lip smacking all that so much more enjoyable. A drop of water is a must for me with this whisky.

Conclusion.

This is a very complex and enticing dram. It’s possibly not for everyone as it is quite sour intensive, but I love it as a different dram to the normal, there’s a lovely balance end development and into the finish which sees some lovely sugar notes and adds complexity and intrigue. When you add water it’s another ball game entirely, and this whisky becomes a tour de force of sweet and sour lemon and vanilla. Fantastic stuff. Beautiful.

Great thanks to Arran for providing the review sample.

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