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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Hey Up... It's our Arran...


Today is a bit of a proud day at Caskstrength towers. After much tinkering, to'ing and fro'ing, the release date for our Caskstrength & Carry On Arran single malt has come around.

A little while back, we decided to put our money where our mouse is and buy a cask, to celebrate our 3rd birthday. Our friends at The Arran Distillery, seemed to have just the ticket, a 1st-fill bourbon cask, filled in 1998, which was only going to yield 92 bottles. A small release, but by no means a small whisky. We were really taken with the rich, sweet, buttery notes that jump out of the glass with Arran's other bourbon single-cask bottlings and when the sample of cask 1554 arrived, we wasted no time in seeing if it was truly up to scratch... and we were not disappointed. So once it was bottled (you can see our video here) we picked up 15 cases and managed to tesselate them into Joel's mother's car. Needless to say, she gets a free bottle!

The bottling will be available today from online malt'sters - extraordinaires Master Of Malt priced at £48.95 + p+p.
Us with 'miniatures' of the CS&CO bottling

Now Joel and I are not in the business of 'the hard sell' - (the picture above will give you an idea of this!) This project has, to be honest, been a lot of fun and it was a really fantastic process to see that initial sample become the reality of being bottled and labelled. We're proud of this whisky and whether anyone actually decides to grab a bottle, we hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

We sat down last week with a dram each and tried to see if we had the same tasting notes. Of course our results, like most were fairly subjective, but for the first time, we thought it might be interesting to publish them both side by side.


Caskstrength & Carry On - Isle Of Arran - Single Cask Bottling - Cask no: 1554 - Date filled: 15/12/1998 - Bottled 16/5/11 - 92 bottles - 49.9%

Joel's notes:

Nose: Warm buttered hot cross bun, butterscotch, lemon bonbons, some green tea and chamois leather. There is also a hint of the smell you get when opening a box of liquorice. With water: vanilla and white chocolate are enhanced with a touch of lemon torte giving real zest. Freshly cut ginger.

Palate: Digestive biscuit with a milk chocolate layer; steamed, crunch fresh green oriental vegetables with a drizzle of soy sauce. Toffee ice cream. With water: crème brulee infused with basil; rosemary and cardamom. Slight hints of freshly crushed sea salt. Tonka bean.

Finish: Custard cream biscuits, real lemon juice, fresh kiwi fruit right at the back of the palate. With water the finish gives an increase in lemon (light limoncello), grapefruit juice, gooseberry and white apple juice. A hint of quince jelly.

Neil's notes:

Nose: Initially, buttery with dairy fudge, a slight mossy note, some tart under-ripe plums, lemon zest and toasted pastry- rather like a tart tatin. Chopped hazel nuts. Given 5 minutes in the glass, the sweet fresh bourbon notes develop alongside the butter. With water: a distinctly tropical fruit note begins to develop, like a bag of Wine Gums, coupled with a hint of sweet wine (Gewürztraminer) and oriental sliced ginger.

Palate: Very fruity and sweet. Orange Rowntree's Fruit Gums, more of the buttery fudge, leading into gooseberries, chopped almonds and a touch of Battenburg marzipan. With water: The chopped nuts come to the fore, followed by more of the marzipan and sweet wine.

Finish: Lingering green orchard fruit, under-ripe pears, green apples and greengages. Light summery and sweet, with a returning touch of the bourbon influence.

If you fancy a bottle, then click on the following link: Caskstrength Arran

And if anyone was wondering, we're not selling the 2 bottles used in the picture above, for the obvious reason... ;-)

Slainte!

Neil + Joel