Tasting Icons of Arran #3: The ‘Westie’
This is the third bottling in the series of “Icons of Arran”. The Previous two bottlings (The Peacock, and the Rowan Tree) were both reviewed by me last year, and were very good. This expression is named after Ruaraidh h (pronounced Roo-ree) the West Highland Terrier belonging to our Distillery Manager James MacTaggart. This limited edition bottling was drawn from 22 ex-Sherry Hogsheads distilled in 1998 and
specially selected by James MacTaggart. The bottle design is lovely, and the packaging is very nice, now let’s see what’s under the hood…
Nose: a very interesting combination of lemon zest zing , some toasted oak, a sweet, sugary toffee kind of feeling to it, no big sherry notes here. Fresh. Vibrant and balanced.
Palate: Sweet sugars up front, with the wood backing it up, introducing some bitter cocoa notes, as well as touches of vanilla and butter. As the time passes , the cocoa and bitter chocolate is more evident, in addition to some spice.
Finish : Bitter cocoa and wood, on top of some malty notes, and spices.
This is a fine dram, though i must say, i was hoping for something a bit like the “Rowan Tree” with some heavier Sherry influence, and this one is not quite the same profile. It’s a well integrated whisky, with some fresh zest, as well as wood, cocoa and malt influences. It’s really balanced, but it is not as good as the last edition in my honest opinion.
Score : 85/100
Thanks to Andy of Arran distilleries for the official sample.