The Arran “Westie” – Icons of Arran III

Islands Region – 46%ABV – £41 – Limited to 6,000 bottles – not available in US stores.

I’m more of a cat man, really.  There’s something about dogs that I just can’t get behind.

Is it the drooling?  The constant need for attention?  The messy clean-ups of poop and pee-pee?  Wait a sec, sounds more like I’m describing one of my girls when they were infants (and I sort of like them…).

I do like dogs, please don’t get me wrong.  Perhaps it’s more a love for cats and NOT for dogs.  A good cat will hop upon your lap and purr away whilst you do whatever; watch TV, sip on a malt, work on your computer.  S/he’ll also not give a crap if you and the family need to go on vacation for a few days.  Just put out some fresh water and food and make sure there’s some clean kitty litter and poof, you’re on your way.

I can not argue, however, with Mr. James MacTaggart for choosing his dog Ruaraidh (pronounced Roo-Ree) as one of the icons of Arran; especially if I’ll be meeting them both this August!

The man loves his dog.  I can respect that.  I love Arran whiskies.  It’s a win-win.

If it were me however, the name of my Icon would be dedicated to my now passed cat: Asswípé (pronounced ass-we-pay, folks!).  To the left is a mock up of what the packaging would look like.

If you don’t know how to pronounce his name, calling the whisky “The Asswípé” might be taken as just plain rude.  I think I’d call it “Meow Malt”

So, what is the Arran “Westie”?  It’s a marriage of 22 ex-oloroso sherry refill casks bottled at 46%ABV and like ALL Arran whiskies, non-chill filtered and with no caramel coloring.

On the nose Immediately fruity with sour cherries and sugared mango.

Crushed walnuts, shell and all.

Back to the fruits: pineapple, tangerine and watermelon pith.

Very sweet nose.

This is a fun one to jam your schnoz in to.

Spongey and orangey angel food cake as well as some sort of waxy saltiness to it.

On the mouth Great mouthwatering entry that’s both warming and puckeringly sweet.

The perfect mixture that is sharp cheddar and dried apricots.

Incredibly malty and full of vanilla and caramels.

I keep picturing in my head a bowl full of vanilla bean ice cream with melted caramel – perhaps even some banana.

Maybe it’s in my head but I totally want banana splits right now.

Finish Malty, waxy medium length.

In sum A great example of how good Arran can be, even when they veer a bit from their house style (or what I envision their house style to be).  A solid any day/any time whisky but might work nice as a woodsy morning malt – wake up, get out of the camping tent, smell the fresh mountain air and pour a dram with your camping pals.  Start your morning right.

A big thank you goes out to Andy H for the sample!