The Arran Malt 21 Year Explorer Series Volume 2: Lochranza Castle

Scotch Whisky Review #162: The Arran Malt 21 Year Explorer Series Volume 2: Lochranza Castle

Distillery: Arran

Region: Island

Cask Type: Aged in ex-Sherry hogsheads, finished in Amontillado sherry casks from Bodegas Tradicion

Price: £119.95

ABV: 47.2%

Age: 21 Year

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

Nose: (according to the wife) Tangy fruits jump out, specifically pineapples and apricots. There’s some mint as well along with a ton of almonds, caramel, and some sherry.

Palate: The mouthfeel is very full and overall incredibly rich. You get a big dose of sherry, for all of its rich and sweet goodness. Following the sherry is an equally rich note of honey, it’s like biting into honeycomb with the honey just oozing everywhere. Salted caramel pops up behind the sherry and honey along with a hint of some herbs. With water, it opens up with some fruits shining through with apricots and champagne grapes to brighten this up.

Finish: Very long. Green apples are up first followed by a hint of sweet cigar smoke. There’s a lingering bit of chocolate along with some aged oak at the end.

Conclusion: I recently reviewed Volume 1 of Arran’s Explorer series and having enjoyed it quite a lot, my expectations for this were quite high. I have to say Arran have absolutely knocked it out of the park with this. It starts off very inviting with the tangy fruits along with some nuttiness and sweetness. The palate is so rich and full of flavor. The honeycomb is fantastic, the bit of salted caramel plays well with the sherry, and the bit of champagne grape and herb really ties it all together. The finish is phenomenal, the sweet cigar smoke helps balance out the richness and the lingering dusting of chocolate just makes me want to dive in for more. Well done Arran, well done. Would I buy another bottle? Absolutely.

Final Score: 97.

Scotch Whisky Review #162, Island Whisky Review #25, Whisky Network Review #220

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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