Arran Machrie Moor

Isle of Arran: Machrie Moor (Scottish Island Single Malt Whisky: No Age Statement: 46% abv)

Visual: Pale gold.

Viscosity: Mix of slow and fast middling sized streaks.

Nose: Smoke and peat. Dust. Honey glazed chicken. Tobacco. Chewy. Medicinal touch. Burnt beef.

Body: Light caramel. Rising tar and alcohol. Solid peat. Honey and toffee. Cinder toffee. Apricot and cream when water has been added. Burnt sugar.

Finish: Dry oak. Light sweet toffee and cinder toffee. Light apricot after water has been added.

Conclusion: This is by far a less booming whisky than the aroma would have you imagine. The aroma promises a real medicinal, smoky whisky, but actually delivers a surprisingly restrained expression – so much so I can’t even call it a restrained beast, just, well restrained.

I use the word “surprisingly” a lot in notes. I am easily surprised it seems.

The body has a kind of cinder toffee effect, calling to a smoky fire cooked, bonfire night feel, but with a big sweetness to it. There is a kind of burnt sugar feel that is much more of a notable aspect than the smoke – all burnt brown sugar, cinder toffee and the like. It is interesting but far from what the aroma would have you expect.

There are calls to the Arran house character with some soft apricot and cream notes, which gives a nice amount of complexity – however the peat doesn’t add enough to give it an edge over the more standard Arrans, and it covers up some of the style which makes those expression seem different. It is still an interesting mix, even if the split between aroma and body maxes it seem more a contrast than ever actually mixing.

Nice, but not a favourite – could make a nice Halloween or Bonfire Night whisky though.

Background: The final whisky of the (pre) Burns night whisky tasting at Independent Spirit. This is the (moderately) peated expression of the normally very creamy Arran malt. There is some tale attached to this, something about a dog, I have to admit by this point me ability to comprehend non whisky ideas may have been somewhat reduced. As before, this was a tutored group tasting so, despite my best efforts, I may have been influenced in my tasting notes.