Review 323: Arran 17 Year “The Dark Lord”

arrandarklordThis “The Dark Lord” is a part of a set of two Private Cask bottles from Arran for the Dutch market. The other one is called “The White Wizard”, but you can read about that one in our previous review. With some imagination the Harry Potter reverence is soon forgotten and the American white oak barrel and the Sherry cask can explain the names of these two drams.

The Dark Lord is a 17 year old whisky that was matured in a sherry hogshead and is bottled at 53,2% and of course there is no chill filtration or colouring. The turnout of this cask is 229 bottles.

On to the good part: sniffing and tasting.

Distillery:Arran distillery
Region:Isle of Arran
Location:Lochranza
Owner:Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd
Founded:1995
Status:Active
Water Source:Loch na Davie
Stills:1 wash still
1 spirit still
Capacity:750.000 Liter per year

Expression:Arran 17 Year “The Dark Lord”
Category:Single Malt
Bottled by:The Arran Distillery - Private Cask Collection
Age:17 year
ABV (% Alc):53,2%
Non-chill filtered:Yes
Natural colour:Yes
Phenols (smoke):0 ppm (on barley)
Distillation date:11-12-1996
Bottle date:03-07-2014
Vintage:1996
Maturation:Sherry hogshead
Cask number:1996/2025
Bottle number:27 of 229 bottles
Bottle content:70cl
Price (NL):Sold out

Colour:
Dark amber

Smell:
A rich, intensive, full, well balanced and complex whisky with aroma’s of rich sherry, appel, figs, dates, grass, hay, vanilla, caramel, toffee, coffee, demerara sugar, floral tones (rose peddles?), cherries, plums, apricots, sultanas, Muscat grapes, cocoa, ginger, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, wax, creamy oak, dark honey and beeswax.

Taste:
a full, intensive, rich, well balanced and complex whisky with aroma’s of dried fruits (figs, dates, prunes, apricot), lush sherry, honey, peach, leather, wax, coffee, old books, soft sulfur, grass, straw, earthy tones, subtle mineral tones, Sauternes wine, toffee, vanilla, pepper, allspice, clove, cinnamon, stem ginger, bitter caramel, soft tannins and subtle spicy oak.

Finish:
A long and rich finish with aroma’s of oak, wax, caramel, biscuits, peach, dried fruits, soft sherry, butter, subtle pepper and christmas cake.

Marks:
  • 9.3/10
    Smell: - 9.3/10
  • 9.4/10
    Taste: - 9.4/10
  • 9.2/10
    Finish: - 9.2/10
9.3/10

Conclusion:

A very lush and engaging dram that certainly can keep me a happy camper for quite some time! The layering on the nose as well as on the palate is great. It’s a full-bodied whisky with good complexity but not overdone.
A very solid dram!

What are your thoughts on the liquid in this bottle?