Like most people, we at The Real Dram tend to choose new drinks that are something like ones that we have liked before. This is where a good quality dram shop comes in almost essential. They can not only help you find something that you might like, but something that you might not have heard of or will only get the chance to try because of their recommendation. Today’s review is a perfect example.
We stopped at Arkwright’s Whisky Shop in Highworth, searching for the Flora and Fauna, Mortlach. As is usually the case on this vein hunt of ours, they didn’t have it in stock anymore, so we got chatting. In the end we bought this very reasonably priced dram.
Arran Distillery is currently the only distillery on the island of Arran, although one has recently entered the planning stages. The Island of Arran is off the West Coast of Scotland, across the Firth of Clyde from Ayr. and is nestled close to the Kintyre Peninsula that is home to the famous Campbelltown region.
Machrie Moor is annually produced peated whisky, which is dissimilar in quality to most of the other drams that Arran produce, whilst still retaining a character that is of the distillery. Our bottle is from the 6th batch, that was produced in September of 2015.
Price: Now £50 – 60 (Around £40 when we purchased the bottle)
Appearance: Light and hay like.
Aroma: This is a mixed bag of flavours, almost as if pulled at random from a magical top hat of flavour notes. On nosing we picked out tropical fruit notes, peat Smoke, floral aromas, Parma Violets and meaty notes.
Taste: As you first put the liquid to your lips there is a sharp sweetness, which nestles somewhere between golden syrup and charcoal smoke. This initial flavour widens with more drinking, it becomes full of tropical fruits, such as pineapple or mango. There is a cocktail syrup flavour that reminds me of when my Nan was trying to make an exotic pudding.
In the middle the dominant flavours are all about the smoke. However the smoke is light, like a fire started with dry wood from a forest. This smokiness is always tempered by the fruity sweetness that sits in the back of the dram, becoming ever more like Dolly Mixtures, rather than real fruit.
The flavour that lasts the longest is this sweetness, but as you near the end of the dram, it becomes more creamy and less fruity. At this point the smoke releases light spicy notes, which whirl and mingle, like a over confident person at a party.
Overall: I was surprised by this dram, I wasn’t expecting it to be such as tussle between smoke and fruit. It is unmistakably an Arran dram, but with the peated smoke that you expect to come from other island based drams. This fight between fruit and smoke gives this whisky a really distinct flavour combination and allows the smoke to be contained. This means that it could appeal to peat heads and those wary of smoke alike.
Real Dram Factor: 7.5
Source: 70cl Bottle purchased from Arkwright’s Whisky and Wine.
More Information: www.arranwhisky.com