Day Eleven in the Whisky Advent Calendar

*In this series, I’m working my way through the 2015 Master of Malt Whisky Advent.

Arran Special Edition Batch 4. Well played, Master of Malt.

This one is a special edition from That Boutique-y Whisky Company. It even has one of their custom labels by the artist Emily Chappell. I’m not really a fan of the label. Art is subjective, so it could be more your cup of tea. To me it looks like something you would buy at the merch table for a Jimmy Buffett concert.

Either way, Arran is one of my preferred distilleries, and I’ve never tried this one. Looking forward to it!


Arran Distillery is in Lochranza, Scotland, and it’s the only distillery on the Isle of Arran. It was founded in 1994 and had to have construction temporarily halted when a pair of Golden Eagles (a protected species) built their nest on a nearby cliff. It finished construction and opened in 1995.

They used to store barrels at Springbank’s distillery in Campbeltown (just to the east), but they now have a warehouse of their own.

Most of their products are unpeated, except Machrie Moor (a really amazing whisky). Their water source is the waters coming from the top of the mountain in Arran, and it’s considered to be some of the purest water in Scotland.


Full disclosure time.

When I tested this one, it was in a group at the pub in my office. And I’d been drinking Irish Whisky (Writer’s Tears from Walsh Distillery) since 4pm. So respond accordingly.

I hit record on my phone and did a verbal tasting with the whole group. So I’m mostly transcribing from that recording.

No peat, but definitely earth in the nose. Lots of spice notes. I almost smell hints of rye mixed with the caramel.

First taste introduces really lovely drama. All the spice shows up on the tongue. Cinnamon and vanilla but with a salty-grassy flavor.

I love this. I’m going to have to track this down if possible. I think I love this because it has so many flavors happening at once.

Other people in the room added a few other comments to the mix.

“It smells like lemongrass”

“It’s the newborn baby dropped into a pile of hay”

“Hints of licorice and bandaids”

“I get more moss than anything else”

“It tastes like insecurity and fear”

“It smells like the middle class”

“Butterscotch and green grass”

“Tastes like William F Buckley”

“Salted Dark Chocolate at least 85% Cocoa mixed with wood”

“Bitter but pleasant, almost like an ex-husband”