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Saturday
May242014

New Cask of Arran in Sherry

We can't sell all of our latest finds from Scotland on pre-arrival because you'd all simply be overwhelmed. Plus, it's nice to have something in the flesh while you're waiting for your other juice to arrive. This is a sneaky little cask of Arran; a sherry hogshead that only relinquished 156 bottles. It's a great find, especially for the price.

1996 Arran 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky $109.99 - While peat ruled the day in 2009, the current whisky craze is all about sherry -- that special wine from Spain whose barrels are used to mature numerous Scottish single malts. Macallan is known for its Oloroso sherry influence, and we've had a number of Glendronach casks aged in Pedro Ximenez. That rich, unctuous character is what whisky fans are after right now, which has lead to an increase in pricing on these expressions. While we continue to supply the household names, we're also keeping a watchful eye on the independents like Arran distillery -- an island producer with a penchant for using sherry maturation in some of their higher marks. We recently found a lovely little hogshead recoopered from fresh sherry wood that had spent 17 years in the Arran cellar. At 56.1%, the aromas drift right out of the bottle into a bouquet of raisined fruit and buttery toffee. The palate is surprisingly dry, however, with all the nuances of European oak making their way through layers of almond and sandlewood. There's a bit of earthy rancio on the finish, as more fresh sherry flavor beings to saturate the dry, woody aftertaste. Water really brings out the fruit and opens up a bit of the sweetness. Similarly mature whiskies from Glendronach and Macallan sell for $150 to $200, so at $109.99 we're pretty happy with the result; especially at cask strength. This one isn't nearly as sweet as the some of the other sherry bombs we've had, and that's quite nice for a change.

-David Driscoll