Arran 8-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Single Cask)
This was one of the first casks we picked up – back in 2013 when we were naïve and fresh-faced and Sweetdram was just a glint in our eye. It’s a tad special for a couple of reasons. One: Dan actually drove over to Arran so he could choose the hoggie himself and watch it get filled in the flesh. To see the birth – guts and all – makes it personal. And two: it goes to show that youth is a virtue when your wood is this good, and age really is just a number.
Leather, plum jam, sultanas
Xmas cake, Port, golden syrup
Cedarwood, cigar box
Single malt Scotch whisky must be distilled at a single distillery in Scotland, in a copper pot still, from a wash containing only malted barley, yeast and water. It must then be matured in oak – in Scotland – for no less than 3 years and bottled at 40% alc/vol minimum.
The term ‘single cask’ is used to define whisky that has been bottled exclusively from one individual cask – and since no two single casks are the same, all whiskies labelled ‘single cask’ are unique, rare and limited.
Casks are typically filled around 62-63.5% alc/vol, although this drops during maturation as spirit evaporates (known as the “angel’s share”). For typical single malt whiskies, when a cask is finally deemed ready – and ‘disgorged’ or emptied – it’s blended with other casks of the same specification and age, and brought down to a standard bottling strength with water (usually 40-46% alc/vol). ‘Cask strength’ whiskies, on the other hand, are bottled at the strength they’re drawn from cask, with nothing added or taken away. Since they tend to be much stronger than your average whisky, pour a smaller-than-normal dram into a tulip-shaped nosing glass, like the Glencairn, and have a little jug of water handy to dose in. Be careful not to over dilute the whisky though – instead, add a drop of water at a time and slowly take in the subtle changes to the flavour and aroma as it opens up. Then, once you find your sweet spot, and the ideal strength to your taste, sit back and enjoy.
Volume: 700ml (or 750ml in the US)
Strength: 59.9% ABV (cask strength)
Bottle: Custom-moulded amber glass with tapered sides
Closure: Custom debossed synthetic stopper
Capsule: Black PVC