Thursday, February 16, 2017

Arran 10 year old Bere Barley (56.2%)

Distilled: 2004, Bottled: 2014, 4890 bottles.

It smells like Play-Doh and crayons, so keep this one away from small children.

On the palate, it's a zesty, lemony affair. Tart citrus and pepper, with a big sugary kick on the end. Usually the sweetness of a malt shows up in the beginning, but here, it's on the finish and it's a bit much. Maybe an active bourbon cask, or perhaps the result of the bere barley. But it's too Sprite-ish for my wheelhouse.

This is a unique flavor, but I actually preferred the Bruichladdich Bere. That said, it's rather unlike anything else on the market . . .  other than the aforementioned Bruichladdich. 

Shows how the malt varietal really matters, and why distilleries should continue to innovate with different strains. Westland is doing this and others should follow. Sometimes we get an "organic" or "local barley" batch from smaller distilleries like Springbank or Bruichladdich, so let's hope they try more different malt grains as well. 

82 points/B-. Nice, but a bit too sweet. For those looking for a totally off-the-wall malt that tastes like Fresca, this is the ticket.


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