The Arran Malt Smugglers’ Series Volume 3 – The Exiseman

Scotch Whisky Review #222: The Arran Malt Smugglers’ Series Volume 3 – The Exiseman

Distillery: Arran

Region: Island

Age: NAS.

Cask Type: Aged in bourbon quarter casks and Madeira casks

ABV: 56.8% Cask Strength

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


Nose: First note I pick up is wild honey and lots of it. Then there’s this slightly medicinal note, it’s quite funky and earthy. There’s a slight bit of waxiness as well. I can’t quite place my finger on what that is but it is quite strange. There are also some bits of tropical fruit with a few notes that remind me of a piña colada.

Palate: It’s quite thick and rich. Incredibly creamy, almost like taking in a spoonful of clotted cream. There’s a hint of vanilla as well. At full strength, it is a tad hot and it does require some water to calm it down. After water is added, it does cool down quite nicely. The creaminess is still very present but in joins some tropical fruits. I get papaya with some pineapple and golden kiwis. Quite nice and goes well with the super creamy vanilla.

Finish: Long. That clotted cream with some vanilla note continues on here. It’s very rich all of it. With some water, there’s some fruit that gets sprinkled in here, I think I pick out some green apple but can’t be sure.

Conclusion: Is there a distillery out there that like releasing special editions more than Arran? I’m not complaining, mind, it just means that they’re constantly tinkering with things in my mind! This particular experiment of theirs involves use of quarter casks for their aging. The result is perhaps the creamiest whisky I’ve ever had. I love slathering clotted cream on things and this was almost like just outright eating a spoonful of it straight. Thankfully some fruits pop in after water is added to help balancing things out a bit. Not bad at all and I hope the folks at Arran keep on experimenting!

Final Score: 83.

Scotch Whisky Review #222, Island Review #31, Whisky Network Review #330


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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