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Horny Pony

Arran 17 y/o Rare Batch - Calvados Cask Edition 52.5%abv 30ml

Arran 17 y/o Rare Batch - Calvados Cask Edition 52.5%abv 30ml

Regular price $23.50 AUD
Regular price Sale price $23.50 AUD
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These limited rare cask releases from Arran are fantastic and clearly show the spirit of creativity the distillery had in its early years with these parcels of high quality but unusual casks being released. This one has been aged in premium Christian Drouin Calvados casks for its entire maturation. Previously Calvados casks were technically illegal although Arran did release some Calvados finished spirit in the past. Now Tequila and Calvados casks can be used officially.

Official Tasting Notes

Nose: Dried apple and danish pastries, white grapes, custard lollies, cocoa powder and nutmeg.

Palate: Smooth, ripe golden delicious apples, creamy vanilla fudge, Manuka honey and dark chocolate with hints of raspberry.

Finish: Long with apple, pear and dark chocolate.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Robert Madden

3.75/5 14th January 2023 (modified from @drrhcmaddenon Distiller)

Nose: Thick and sticky the nose is initially pure apple turnover. You can linger on that apple pastry and not leave, quite happily. But there is more to find: buttery and creamy custard, soft slightly aromatic wood where the aromatics are somewhere between jasmine tea and cedar or sandalwood (the same notes I found in Argonne). Honeyed Arran malt is the backdrop and holds some of the gentlest and shyest wood spice. Sit long enough and there is a milk chocolate there somewhere also. No hint of a high ABV comes across. Dry glass had an interestingly unpleasant gristy and sweaty smell, odd.

Palate: First sip was slightly sticky with a honey like mouth feel. Instant wood spice prickles and wakes the palate up. Initial wood spice becomes wonderfully perfumed and floral. Apples straight from the orchard, more honey, vanilla and creamy fudge. Subsequent sips build a sticky sweetness with a backing drying tannic wood. Some of the Arran staple malt and ginger comes out with time as does a slightly nutty bite. There is a refreshing berry thread as well, it reminds me of a very watered down Rekorderlig strawberry cider.

Finish: Long and sticky with a growing ginger heat. Light malty honey, apple (unsurprisingly) and perfumed wood notes.

Seventeen years in a specially sourced oak barrel. It seems brandy/cognac casking can be hit and miss. The last Arran rare batches, also hit and kind of miss. This, I think I was expecting to be really rich and decadent but it was relatively superficial. I don’t deny that its clean, crisp, and delivers smacks of rich apple brandy character. However, it seems to fail to get going. I enjoyed the Arran characters of honeyed malt and ginger getting a look in. The berry freshness was hard to keep track of, that would have been a master stroke to make it more prominent, but it just failed to get going. What is here is well done, the stand out were the perfumed florals and aromatic wood, lovely. Major downsides, lack of depth and perhaps, like the Rare Batch Bordeaux, too much tannic wood presence. A solid drop, but I don’t think I’ll be dropping AUD$299 for a bottle. Reading my notes on the Balvenie 16 Pineau Cask Finish I am a little surprised to realise there is a very high degree of cross over with this Arran. Balvenie at one year younger and only a gnats fart of time in pseudo-cognac casks manages to capture the essence of this Arran for AUD$50 a bottle more. Where the Arran succeeds is in the floral and aromatic flavours which are slightly better here, and the unobtrusive high proof.