Earlier this year Whisky Brother returned to Scotland to embark on another whisky-finding mission, heading over to the Arran distillery this time, situated off the south-west coast on the Isle of Arran.
Although it has only been operating for 20 years, Arran have quickly established themselves as a distillery to take seriously, releasing one stunning whisky after another. With an eagerness to be part of their journey, and a willingness from them to be part of ours, Whisky Brother teamed-up with the distillery to for an exclusive bottling!
On the day they were scheduled to sample casks at the distillery, Whisky Brother's journey took an unexpected delay; as they arrived to take the ferry to the island, they were just in time to catch a glimpse of it sailing away. In sleepy Scotland this means a several hour wait for the next one, meaning they wouldn't have enough time at the distillery to select a cask!
Thankfully, distillery manager James MacTaggart, with over 30 years experience, had drawn six samples of his favourite casks that met their criteria, which they found patiently waiting upon their eventual arrival. The rest of the story involves endless tasting and deliberation, a few months wait for labelling, bottling and shipping.
The Whisky Brother Arran Private Cask was matured in a 250 litre American oak hogshead that was previously filled with sherry. The final result is unchill-filtered, naturally coloured and bottled at a cask strength of 54.4%.
The cask only yielded 295 bottles, and each label details the cask number, exact dates of distillation and bottling, as well as the individual bottle number.
The nose is full of caramelised popcorn, with butter on toast and notes of orange marmalade. The palate moves on to sticky crème brûlée with a soft cinnamon spice that builds to a powerful finish, peppered with bitter chocolate and chilli. A long feisty finish. (Depending on your preference, a drop or two of water may be called for.)
To buy this exclusive offering for only R990, visit the Whisky Brother in Johannesburg's Hyde Park Corner before stocks run out. CLICK HERE for the address.