Arran – Devils Punchbowl 2

Rating: 80-100 out of 10

No sulphur, no rotting corpses. Where’s the agonising pain and the scorching heat? I’m alive!

First impressions are good: it’s friendly, not diabolic at all. On the nose it’s surprisingly delicate, without being shy. It’s exactly the way I like it: nice and crisp. Fruity and estery, with fresh apricot, melon, white wine, and some very faint smoky notes. Some candy too: marshmallows, and hard fruitcandy. The kind of fruitcandy that tastes of god knows what, but is most likely supposed to taste like melon. With water you get a bit more floral notes.

After that some clear sherry notes, with licoriceroot. Tastewise it’s both bitter and sweet, and malty. The finish is medium long, with quite some woody notes, and more licoriceroot.

This is a really nice whisky. Complex, and straightforward at the same time. Engaging yet accessible. The nose mislead me to think there were some ‘exotic’ casks (Amarone or Sauternes for example) in there, but in fact it’s the traditional mix of sherry (17 casks) and bourbon casks (10 casks).

I like how Arran has developed a clear distillery profile that is present in all their bottlings. This one also has it, albeit a bit less pronounced. Absolutely lovely stuff though. One of the best Arrans I’ve tasted so far.

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