So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Arran 12 yo Cask Strength

It’s a strange time of the year. Decidedly undecided between 2 great big holidays, it’s a bit of a no man’s land between working off Christmas’ inertia plus related excesses, while preparing for the incoming calories and clueless but well meaning questions from once-a-year aunts.  Nobody wants to start anything that noone wants to do until everyone is back so that someone can say something that negates the need for anything in the first place.

But we made it to the last Friday before Chinese New Year and the evening  post-work pre-dinner drinks is an excellent bridge to skip on over and usher in the weekend.

If you are in the area, check out the recently opened House of Dandy at 74 Tras Street.

Photo: HAPPY HOUR at House of Dandy is here! WEEKDAYS 5-8pm

The cocktails look great, the decor is classic and yes, service staff are still attentive – but not a long whisky menu.

Still, in a half page mish mash that included Scotch whisky, Japanese whisky and American Single Malt (a mythical beast that does exist – Hudson Single Malt), I picked out an interesting one –

Arran 12 y0 Cask Strength – based on my tasting notes, I’m guessing it’s the Batch 2.


Arran is in fact a new distillery. Built in 1995, on the Isle of Arran of course, placing it (nominally at least, still too early to tell?) under the Islands grouping of whiskies. It has all of 1 wash and 1 spirit still, producing a tiny 750,000 L of new make a year. Rejoice to know that stocks of Arran are coming into their late teens, a delicious time for whisky.

Nose  Nose: Big oily creamy quality. Very sweet nose heavy with orange peel and shriveled grapes. Also hidden clues: a bit of the farmyard and petrol.  With water: Pine and juicy oranges.

Taste  Palette: Nutty and nut oils. Big sweet rich whisky with big ripe fruits. Generous dessert spices. But flavours also stand out in a ‘clean’ way. Noteworthy – that petrol-like flinty edge remains along with an emerging saltiness. Getting fresh herbs towards the finish.

Finish  Finish: Medium but herby and the ripe fruit return.

Score 80

The sherry influence was as clear as the blender’s purpose – create an approachable yet complex and well drinkable whisky that will showcase the potential of the malt, this time with a sherry accent with just enough old school hidden to keep it interesting. In this, it is a job well done. Personally I would have liked to see more of that wet hay petrol aspect but eh the distillery has priorities.

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2014 by in Arran and tagged , .
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