The Arran Malt 20 Year Explorer Series Volume 1: Brodick Bay

Scotch Whisky Review #154: The Arran Malt 20 Year Explorer Series Volume 1: Brodick Bay

Distillery: Arran

Region: Island

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/bradbobaggins!

Cask Type: Bourbon Barrels, Sherry Hogsheads and Oloroso Sherry Butts

ABV: 49.8%

Age: 20 Year

Color: 1.2, Chestnut/Oloroso Sherry. Non-Chill Filtered and Natural Color.


Nose: (according to the wife) It starts off with some fresh pears and grapes layered with some honey. The sherry cask influence shines through a bit as well putting this on the sweeter side along with some cream and vanilla.

Palate: It’s rather creamy with a very full mouthfeel. Dark chocolate covered oranges are what come across first. Slightly sweet, slightly bitter, and very much full of tang. Some raisins follow it before some kind of a tart pops in. The tart notes reminded me a lot of a pecan pie without the pecans on top (so just the filling and the crust). It’s got a dark, molasses and brown sugar sweetness with a wonderful shortbread crust. I’m guessing that’s kind of what a treacle tart should taste line but I’ve never had one so I can’t say for certain. Overall, lots of fun and very delicious.

Finish: Medium to long in length. There’s a hint of well aged oak up front followed by a lot of that pecan pie filling. Some citrus and a pear reduction follow along and linger slightly.

Conclusion: Arran has quickly become one of my favorite distilleries and this just continues to show how good of a whisky they can make. The nose is really inviting with the fruit, sherry, and cream. The palate is wonderful with several layers of delicious complex flavors, especially that tart, that play really well together. The finish is fantastic. Would I buy a bottle? At the original retail price of £130, this would have been a steal and a half. If I could find it anywhere near that price, I’d snap it up in an instant.

Final Score: 91.

Scotch Whisky Review #154, Island Whisky Review #24, Whisky Network Review #204


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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