Arran 10 Year Old (70cl, 46.0%)

Island, whisky

The Aran distillery Co was established in 1994 by Harold Currie at Loch Ranza in the north of the Isle Of Arran. At one time Arran was famed for the quality of is whisky and had over 50 distilleries some of which were legal but distilling ended in 1837 on Arran with the closure of Lagg distillery. It took until 1996 until “the water of life” was produced again on the island.

I must admit that our family had the chance to invest in the new venture and passed on the opportunity and after the very early production took this to be a good decision. However after sampling the 10 year old , the Loch Ranza reserve, the Robert Burns edition among others we now realise this was not the case as this young distillery has really begun to see the fruits of its labour and is producing some rather excellent whisky.
The water source for the distillery is Loch Na Davie  which feeds its single wash and spirit stills. The total production is around 750000 liters a year.


The whisky is a light golden colour , medium bodied which on rolling around the glass is not too syrupy and leaves thin legs around the glass. I added a half teaspoon of water and left the whisky to develop for 10 minutes.

The nose is fresh with herbal notes with thyme, cut grass after a shower of summer rain. This develops in to something a little more fruit forward with hints of summer fruits and raspberries! Light and quite complex.

The flavour has creamy sweet malty notes, big on digestive biscuits followed by english apples and tinned pears. Very nice indeed!

The finish is medium long with notes of granny smith apples developing and lengthening into a sweet malt perhaps a little oak Very smooth.

This is a very well made polished whisky which in some ways reminds me of 10 year old Glenmorangie It is a very easy drinking dram which would be a lovely pre meal experience!

This whisky is available from Master of Malt HERE!



Talisker 2000 (bottled 2011) Amoroso Finish – Distillers Edition (70cl, 45.8%)

Island, whisky


Talisker distillery is an Island single malt Scotch whisky distillery based in Carbost, Scotland—the only distillery on the Isle of Skye. The distillery is operated by United Distillers and Vintners for Diageo, and is marketed as part of their Classic Malts series. The brand is sold as a premium whisky.

The malt is peated to a phenol level of approximately 18–22 parts per million (ppm), which is a medium peating level. Additionally, the water used for production, from Cnoc nan Speireag (Hawk Hill), flows over peat which adds additional complexity to the whisky.

The distillery began producing special bottlings of the whisky for connoisseurs in the early 2000s, with a 20- and 25-year bottling (where previously only a 10-year and 18-year were available). The 25-year bottling, despite being more expensive than the 20-year bottling, was distributed more widely.

In 2007 Talisker 18-year-old won “Best Single Malt In The World 2007” at the World Whiskies Awards.


This gorgeous 2000 vintage of Talisker’s Distillers Edition is finished in Amoroso sherry casks, mixing Talisker’s signature peppery peat with juicy sherry!

I poured the whisky in to a Glencairn, added two teaspoons of water and left the whisky to develop for ten minutes. The whisky pours a deep amber colour with an oily consistency. On rolling around the glass the whisky leaves long legs on the inside of the glass.

The nose as you’d expect from a Talisker is huge but that is by no means a bad thing! Rich stewed red fruits rush out of the glass. This is followed by a punch of smoke, coal tar and intense sea salt. Behind these briny harbour side notes lies something a little more delicate, notes of vanilla, soft oak and vanilla come through giving this nose a balance and depth taking this whisky to another level!

The flavour is initially briny with the salt of a boiling sea, this whisky gives you the smack in the face you expect. This is followed by much more subtle notes of red fruit and soft smoke. There are notes of tar and soft tobacco in the background but these are all bit parts in a superbly complex dram. The end of the taste has a soft prickle of pepper and chili. The spicy flavours at the end of the taste cut through the rich smoke and red fruit notes and give a balance to these huge flavours!

The finish is long with salt and prickles of chili heat.

This to be completely honest is one of the best drams I’ve had this year! The Amoroso sherry cask gives a depth of flavour to this whisky which is just fantastic!

Sadly this particular bottling is no longer available but the newer versions are available from Master of Malt HERE!



Scapa – 16 year old and Skiren (40%)

Island, whisky


Scapa distillery is a Scotch whisky distillery situated on The Mainland of Orkney, Scotland on the shore of Scapa Flow near the town of Kirkwall. Scapa is the second most northern whisky distillery in Scotland, being half a mile farther south than the Highland Park Distillery.

The distillery has one wash still and one spirit still producing a single malt (unblended) whisky. It is an especially honey flavoured whisky, and less peaty than most Island Whiskies. This is because, though the water at the source is peaty, it gets transported to the distillery through pipelines to avoid more contact with the peat. Furthermore, the malt is not dried over peat smoke.

The distillery, founded in 1885 by Macfarlane & Townsend, was during the 1950s acquired by Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd (now part of Pernod Ricard) and rebuilt. In 1994 it was mothballed, and faced definitive closure in 2004. During that period, the most commonly available edition was the Scapa 12 years old, which was and still is a most distinctive island whisky for its subtle heathery honey plus sea taste. Still, it was decided to rebuild/restore the distillery, and the first new spirit in 10 years flowed in November 2004. Because of the time-gap, it was decided to stop the 12 years and introduce the 14 years, which is quite different from its predecessor, even though the basic characteristics are intact.


The whisky is a golden colour with a light syrupy consistency as it’s rolled around the glass. I added a half tea spoon of water to allow the whisky to open up.

The nose is initially citrus forward with notes of orange peel followed by a malt sweetness. As the nose develops there is a woody spicy aroma of allspice, cloves, a little black pepper and sea salt. The nose finishes with a sweet honey and oak dryness.

The flavour is smooth, rich and full on. With honey comb & toffee sweetness followed by a citrus (Seville marmalade). The flavour is softer than expected and finishes with a dry oak note.

The finish is long with drying oak spicyness and faint brine (sea air note).


Skiren is Scapa’s new release for 2015 and is matured in first fill American oak casks. The name comes from the Old Norse word for “glittering bright skies”.

I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass and added a teaspoon of water to allow the whisky to open up.

The nose is instantly sweet with honey and vanilla. There are hints of apple and white grape which are followed by a soft spicy aroma of aniseed and cinnamon.

The flavour is rich and creamy with hits of honey, pear and lemon rind which sparkle through balancing the richness. There are drier hints of oak and a long lasting vanilla cream note. The balance of this whisky is just incredible!

The finish is not as long as the 16 but the sweet and spicy notes linger after drinking.

Scapa continue to produce amazing whisky. Sadly the 16 year old is no longer available but for the price the NAS Skiren is a whisky of great quality!

Skiren is available from Master of Malt HERE! I can’t recomend it highly enough!