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Arran Devil’s Punch Bowl (2012, OB, 52,3%)

Who knows about whisky finds the quality of the average bottlings of the young Arran distillery, of the island of Arran (an easy choice for a name isn’t it?), in crescendo. To be sure, today we try one of the latest Arran releases, the Devil’s Punch Bowl, a beautiful bottle in a very nice packaging. Non disclosed age, but it’s a vatting of 24 casks, young ex-bourbon (max 6 years) and some older ex-sherry (max 16 years). The bottles were 6660… We know our friend Davide will have to complain, but the soundtrack will be classic metal, so no, won’t be “Sympathy for the Devil”.

Schermata 2012-12-09 a 18.44.11

N: at the beginning the alcohol has to vent in the glass, let’s give it some time. Here we are again after 10 minutes: now it’s more expressive, with clear notes of dried prunes, in general that mix of dehydrated fruit (prunes, raising, banana and coconut..); berries afterwards (raspberry and strawberry). Star anice and coffee beans. In compliance with the complexity of the nose, we have also notes revealing the ex-bourbon component, hence notes of caramel, sugar and vanilla. Panettone? Chocolate notes. Orange (perhaps orange jam).

P: very compact, a real wall of flavor, but painted with thousand colors. From a toasted malt to a light licorice, from sparkling red berries (a real triumph, both fresh and marmalade) to dried prunes, from a round wood to a nice dried fruit…. Really stunning, full of angles despite being so compact, as previously said. Good body, very creamy. It deserves also to be tasted with few drops of water, able to magnify the citrusy components (fresh orange). So good! Candied ginger at the end, slightly peppery.

F: despite red fruits, here very intense notes of fresh butter. Let’s say a rusk smeared with butter and red fruits jam.

What a surprise! This whisky is really good, has a discrete complexity in spite of a quite young age; the marriage between the variety of barrels delivered a product which deserves a taste, always intense and balanced. We like whiskies able to evolve in the glass, this one does it, continuously, providing always new suggestions. Our result is then 88/100.

Recommended soundtrack: VenomIn league with Satan.

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