Google Arran Vs Orkney

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


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

April 20, 2019





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
Arran Vs Orkney 
Finally, once and for all we’ll discover which of these famous Scottish Islands is the best! 


Arran 21 yo 1995/2017 (49.5%, Cadenhead 175th for Berlin Shop, hogshead, 270 bottles)

Arran 21 yo 1995/2017 (49.5%, Cadenhead 175th for Berlin Shop, hogshead, 270 bottles)
Colour: orangey gold. Nose: orangey indeed. Blossom honey, orange peel studded with cloves, some grated nutmeg, chamomile tea, fruit loaf and stem ginger in syrup. A rather glossy nose with plenty of crystallised fruits and things like quince, poire williams and mixed citrus peels. There’s a nice note of furniture polish as well which gives it an impression of being slightly older than it is. Custard and sweet wines too. All very lovely. Mouth: sweet and very syrupy. Then some deeper and rather peppery wood spice aspects. Pot pourri, cinnamon bark, tobacco pouch, old leather, young dessert wines. Pretty excellent in my book! Crystallised orange peel, sultana, lime leaf and a wee nibble of rancio. Finish: medium in length and rather towards the wood but it’s clean and fragrant with hardwood shavings, saps, dried herb mix and sandalwood. A hint of star fruit in the aftertaste. Comments: Quite simply, a really great wee Arran that is wise beyond its years but still alive and a wee bit mischievous. One of my favourite Arrans ever in fact. 
SGP: 551 - 89 points.



Arran 22 yo 1996/2019 (49.6%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, hogshead, 276 bottles)

Arran 22 yo 1996/2019 (49.6%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, hogshead, 276 bottles)
Colour: gold. Nose: this one is more savoury and fragrant. More immediately towards sandalwood, lemon peel, bracken, heather, plum jam, gooseberries and rather a lot of fresh pastries such as croissant, brioche and fruit muffins. Fruity cereal bars, muesli, golden syrup and flapjack. Some elegant heathery notes in the background as well, alongside some melon, guava and banana bread. Another really excellent mid-aged Arran. Mouth: lots of fruit lozenges and hard boiled fruit sweeties. Mint tea, orange soda, light hessian notes, pink grapefruit, fizzy sherbet and vitamin tablets in soda water. Whereas the 95 was more wood-dominated, this 96 is all on easy going fruits and pastries. Green apples, pears, more gooseberry and a wee scattering of dry cereals. Finish: good length, all on dried herbs, bouillon stock, fruit syrups, honeys and some tobacco leaf and old shilling ales. Comments: Despite the obvious differences in profile between these two - which I really enjoy - I find it extremely hard to pick a favourite. They’re both pretty excellent and very pleasurable drams. 
SGP: 641 - 89 points. 



Over to you, Orkney...



Orkney 12 yo 2007/2019 (55.5%, North Star, hogshead, 370 bottles)

Orkney 12 yo 2007/2019 (55.5%, North Star, hogshead, 370 bottles)
I haven’t checked the co-ordinates so I’m not sure if this one also hails from that infamous illicit Orkney still at Mrs Cameron’s house...? Colour: white wine. Nose: lots of chalk, bandages, pebbles and lime. Something slightly funky and earthy underneath as well. Continues with distant peat smoke, ink, crushed sea shells and plenty of freshly milled grist plunging into a mash tun full of seawater. Superbly fresh and characterful stuff! With water: develops this rather fresh linen and fabric side. Beach sand, bath salts, mineral oil and putty. Mouth: slightly tart, bitter herbs, quinine, lemon barley water, sea salt, very light antiseptic notes and things like beach pebbles and crushed aspirin. More raw barley and some heather and hessian notes. Some crab meat, light medical notes and soft waxiness. With water: again gets drier, more fragrant, more towards linens, oils, light herbal notes, citrus fruit peels with slightly bitter pith notes and more mineral aspects. Finish: long, herbal, medical, lemony, sooty and getting increasingly mineral. Comments: Some of these stocks are just superb! These casks at 15-20 years old will be totally thrilling I think. I hope someone is saving a few... 
SGP: 362 - 89 points. 



Highland Park 27 yo 1986 (45.1%, SMWS 4.202 ‘Salt and pepper’, refill hogshead, 261 bottles)

Highland Park 27 yo 1986 (45.1%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #4.202 ‘Salt and pepper’, refill hogshead, 261 bottles, +/-2014)
Colour: light gold. Nose: bruised cider apples, heather honey, soft seashore notes and a little herbal medicine at first. The height of loveliness and very much on the lighter, easier side of Orkney. Lots of sea greens, gorse, heather, beach pebbles, gomme syrup and wee touches of pineapple and mint. A scatter of toasty cereals as well. Perfect age and strength make this very approachable, the kind of gentle and evocative character that can only really come from patience and refill wood. Mouth: simple and easy but rather beautiful in its elegance and subtly. Gentle wood smoke, white pepper, warm kiln air, mineral smoke, flints, lemon rind, tiger balm and soft sooty notes. A few green fruits, some pink peppercorns now, guava, mandarin, exotic spices, sultana and gentle medical touches. Finish: good length. On green teas, soft seashore notes, mineral oil, lemon infused olive oil and buttery cereals. Comments: Quite simply another very good Highland Park, captured at a supremely quaffable age and strength. The kind of bottle that can mysteriously evaporate during a rainy evening stuck in a Kirkwall hotel with an oversized Alsatian winemaker. 
SGP: 462 - 90 points. 



Orkney wins by a midgie’s eyebrow! But let’s be boringly political and call it a draw.










Whiskyfun's Home