Isle of Arran The Devil’s Punch Bowl (52.3%, OB, Sherry & Bourbon, 6660 Bts., 2012)

A multi vintage Isle of Arran making using of ex- sherry (butts & hogshead) and ex-bourbon (barrels) oak while making use of unpeated and peated whisky. The cask make up consists of 24 casks dating back to 1996 although the peated casks all date from 2006.

On the nose there is dry cocoa powder with a very good creaminess with some good peat smoke (not too over whelming; just right) and some nice Arran malt. There is also some fruit (dried tree fruits) lurking behind the peat smoke and cocoa and when all taken together it’s very, very good. With a little water things hold together very well with a little honey showing.

The undiluted taste is just like the nose but with a little grapefruit (at first) which gives it another dimension. The flavour grows very quickly and there are also some chilies and then the dry cocoa and peat some which is a welcome compliment to the roster while not being a bully boy. With water things settle down some what and the bourbon side of the house takes center stage.

The finish is significant malt (very chewy),  the cocoa and gentle, gentle peat smoke. After some time some dry smoked malt appears and it’s a welcome end to a really fine dram. The finish is very long…

The young peated whisky brings some welcome vibrancy to the mix and livens up the older whiskies (we can say that about Isle of Arran now!). Water changes it some what but either way, with or without, it’s very good.


Score 88 points

Joseph Fields