12 July 2012

Arran Devil's Punch Bowl " A Devilicious Delight"

Despite still enjoying its relative sprightful youth having only been open since 1995, The Arran Distillery has managed to produce a steady and impressive outturn of whiskies over the last few years.

Not only have these drams been consistent in delivering and representing the distillery’s distinct fresh island style, but they've all also exuded their own unique touch of individuality.

From their standard 10 and 14 year old bottling’s to their single cask offerings and of course not forgetting their very impressive Cask Finish range, which includes the amazingly seductively sumptuous Amarone, they really have delivered some bang on the money bottling’s.

Now wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if you could experience 24 of their finest sherried, bourbon and peated casks, all expertly crafted together into one devilishly delicious dram? Well thanks to their new Devil’s Punch Bowl offering, you can do exactly that!

Their latest bottling which is named after the land mark on the Island of Arran, is a real testimony to all the work they have been doing at the distillery since it first opened. Limited to just 6,660 bottles it has to be said that there’s something rather heavenly about this decadently devilish drop of drammage.

The nose kicks off with an immense implosion of fruitcake wonderment, dominated by confident and concentrated waves of sherry soaked cherries and raisins. Followed by a bubbling hot pan of homemade marmalade, that’s just been taken off the stove to cool.

An infusion of wood spice, sweet musk and a hint of something peated yet subtly menthol make for the next set of nasal niceties, along with harmonious hits of youthful fresh oak and something more aged in the form of an old dusty book shelf that’s in dire need of being dusted.

Chocolate Hobnobs, smoked salted caramels and a jar of peppered plum and apricot jam then help to add superbly eclectic levels of depth and balance, as does a drop of vanilla extract and a light dusting of winter spices.

The palate kicks off with yet more fruitcake based frolics, though this time with some very prominent citrus peels, jubilant cherries and puff-ettes of peat that bounce, balance and bond beautifully with all the sheer sherry shenanigans that this dram has to offer.

A bowl of stewed prunes, a box of Jaffa Cakes and a handful of Cadbury Chocolate Eclairs make for the next set of palatable pleasures, along with wondering weaving waves of wood spice, vanilla infused honey and the final puff from a menthol cigarette.

Those winter spices make another appearance, along with a complementing kicking pinch of cayenne pepper, which help to keep this particular drop of Arran firmly on its toes with regards to delivering depth and balance.

Once this joyous drop of drammage is ready to make its final approach on the finish, you’re treated to a long lingering luscious lunge of sweet, spiced and subtle smoky sumptuousness. But it’s not long before the proceedings gradually mellow out into something more fresh, opulent and oaky.