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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

November 7, 2013


Tasting two sherried Arran

Less funny finishings (is there a wine they haven't used in the past, apart from wine that's never matured in oak?), more 'traditional' maturing, I think Arran keeps improving and it's becoming as much a classic as any 'good old name out there'. Let's try two 'traditionally sherried' versions...

Arran 1997/2011 (56%, OB, sherry, cask #675, 599 bottles)

Arran 1997/2011 (56%, OB, sherry, cask #675, 599 bottles) Four stars According to both the colour and the outturn, this baby should have come from a refill sherry butt. Colour: gold. Nose: it's big and it's rather a leafy and leathery kind of sherry, with flints in the background as well as herbal teas and stems (cherry, for example). So no roundness so far, although there are a few raisins here and there. Moderately austere. Wee notes of mashed potatoes after ten minutes. With water: more grassy notes, grains... And even less obvious sherry. Mouth (neat): same first feelings, it's rather leafy, but then we find more eaux-de-vie such as kirsch and quite some bitter oranges. Maybe a tad pungent and biting. With water: opens out! Oranges, drops of brine, drops of Campari, a little fresh cardamom, maybe... Much to my liking but water was needed. Finish: long, with more spices again, pepper, more bitter oranges, drops of quinine tonic wine... Comments: another one that's keen on water. Water is actually obligatory, but it's worth it. Great oranges! SGP:451 - 85 points.

Arran 1996/2013 (55.7%, OB, Private Cask Jan Vissers, sherry hogshead, cask #1996/2013, 174 bottles)

Arran 1996/2013 (55.7%, OB, Private Cask Jan Vissers, sherry hogshead, cask #1996/2013, 174 bottles) Four stars and a half The cask # is a bit funny. No, no typo! Colour: mahogany. Nose: big. Spices, gingerbread, chocolate, Christmas cake, Linzertorte, then peonies and lilies and lastly, pine needles and more cloves and caraway. Merry Christmas! With water: adds touches of cigars and cedar wood, a little coffee and some wonderful praline, all for Christmas. Mouth (neat): a powerful sherry monster, with a lot of punch, spices, jams and, well, slices and slices of fruitcake. Corinth raisins, cloves and pipe tobacco (I remember when I used to smoke pipes more than 25 years ago, there was a very heavy/moist tobacco called Borkum Riff. It was great but it used to ruin my palate). With water: perfect now. Just like its bro, it needs water to become fully balanced. More chocolate and tobacco, more spices but also more raspberries and other red fruits. Very Christmascaky (?) Finish: long, balanced, on chocolate and marmalade. A salty touch and more liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: I'm not 100% sure but this could be my favourite Arran ever. No, wait, the 'bere' was a notch higher but just by one point. That's absolutely nuffin'. SGP:651 - 89 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Arran I've tasted so far







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