In this review I’ll be review the Highland Laird Arran 20 Year Old 1996. Which is an independently bottled whisky from the Arran distillery and bottled for the Highland Laird range by Bartels Whisky. It’s a Single Cask, non-chill filtered, bottled at cask strength and natural colour whisky. As for exclusivity all Highland Laird bottlings are limited and this one is limited to only 520 bottles, it’s also matured for 20 years in a sherry butt. I’ll be posting a YouTube review on this shortly but for now I’m going to move into the tasting notes so let’s see what I found.
Colour: Deep Amber.
Nose: On the nose exotic fruits begin, candied pineapples, sweet tobacco leaves, red plums notes of cocoa which then develop into citrus over a little time in grapefruit zest. Then the sweetness reveals further notes of maraschino cherries and soft fruitcake. Palate: On the palate the tannins are felt as this whisky is very rich. Silky mouth coating with Dark fruits taking centre stage as blackcurrants and full plums sink into the taste buds and further dark fruits develop. The tobacco notes are back but this time not sweet as on the nose. Loose black tea along with a dry oakiness.
Finish: The Finish for this whisky is more towards a medium body finish, the richness of the cask can be felt with the oaky notes but the fruity notes are back and lingering all around the palate in blackcurrants and dark chocolate. Then the flavours leave end abruptly almost like a cliff-hanger making you want more.
AGE: 20 yrs
CASK(S): Sherry Butt
DISTILLERY: Arran Distillery
BOTTLER: Highland Laird
REGION/ORIGIN: Island, Scotland
EXCLUSIVE: YES (520 Bottles)
Comments: My opinion on the Highland Laird Arran 20yr is that overall it’s a really enjoyable independently bottled whisky, the cask selection is wonderful and the richness of this whisky can really be felt. The nose of this whisky really so enjoyable and I’d also recommend giving it time as it then reveals more and more darker fruits along with sweeter candied fruits. On the palate the richness and age can be felt but then finish rather earlier then I would have liked. In terms of money being priced at £118.44 and a single cask, cask strength whisky it has a lot to offer, if you’re looking for richness & dark fruits then this whisky offers this in abundance. Out of the many whiskies I’ve tasted at this price range I definitely feel it holds up and would recommend you try this. As for adding water I’d personally not advise it on this dram as it removes the silky mouth feel. If you would like the check out the YouTube video I’ll leave a link here when its upload here ‘Highland Laird Arran 20 Year Old 1996’.
I’d also like to thank the team at Bartels Whisky for the sample of this so I can taste this new expression.