Thursday, July 26, 2012

Arran The Devil's Punch Bowl

Arran The Devil's Punch Bowl 52.3%

This is named after a beautiful mountain on Arran.

Photo "borrowed" from The Maltbank Herald

It is a mix of
3 sherry butts from 1996, 
6 bourbon barrels from 1996, 
2 sherry butts from 1997,
8 sherry hogshead from 1998 and
5 bourbon barrels with peated Arran from 2006

Ugly packaging

This is not an unusual Arran, I would say it's quite typical. That is, if you don't consider the fact that this is peated. Well, slightly peated, as the peat is only very faint in this whisky. It is to me, but I often suffer from peat immunity, it must be from all the peated whisky I drank as a kid...:-). A rough calculation would say that 15-20% of the whisky is this bottling is from peated whisky. According to the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2012,  in 2006 peated Arran is 12-14 ppm so it's not a surprise that I find the peat very laidback in this. It can't disguise the Arran character of this malt. It actually reminds me a lot of the recent The Golden Eagle. Same tropical fruitness. Canned pears, pineapple, some fresh wood spicyness, its like when you nose a cask where the wood is a lot more present compared to when you nose a whisky with no cask nearby. The different casks add a lot of complexity to this malt. The thing is, that whisky at different ages affects different parts of your tongue. The older a whisky gets the longer back on the tongue the tastes tends to appear. With different ages of whisky in this malt, the flavours is appearing on a wider part of your tongue, giving several taste sensations at the same time. 
So a complex, very tropical-fruity but not that sweet malt, with a hint of peat malt and a faint medicinal squeek in the finish

Very good whisky, and a general step up from the icons (apart from Peacock which is still my favourite)

Rating 87/100

PS I don't like the packaging. But I don't care, I buy whisky for the content not for the packaging. The fact that this kind of packaging at least is responsible for 10% of the price is to be considered as I find this a very niced price whisky as it mainly contains a bunch of the oldest casks from a small producing distillery :-)

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