Singlemalting #239 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 13 – Arran 21 Year Old

Another first for any of our editions today we present a 21 year old single cask of Arran bottled by Douglas Laing. I have been looking forward to this one as I have had some truly delicious Arran expressions over the years but few of this age.

Arran distillery was founded in 1994 by the former director of Chivas Harold Currie. There were at one time more than a dozen mostly illicit stills operating on Arran. In 2019 the Lagg distillery also owned by Arran was opened at the South end of the Isle of Arran and begining distilling in April. This 21 year old expression was distilled only a few years after the distillery began production and is a rare cask indeed.

Arran Distillery

Douglas Laing Old Particular Arran 21 Year Old Distilled in 1996 – Islands – Refill Bourbon Barrel # 12357 – 52% abv

Colour:         Pale straw. Real signs of the refill Bourbon cask that has had very little impact on the colour after 21 long years. Amazing.

Nose:            I was very excited for this as I love what a refill cask does for whisky when it’s aged for a long time. I was expecting a lot of fresh notes and boy did this deliver. Delicate, delicate, delicate. This is absolutely right up my alley. Most of you know that I love drams that exhibit delicate complexities that I have to spend time to coax out of the glass. Morning glory and honeysuckle. Lychee in syrup. Werther’s original caramels.

Palate:           Oh so soft and velvety on the palate. Orange creams, tinned pineapple, King Island cream. My wife Cindy got raspberry pop rocks (you need to be our age to remember those).

Finish:         A building warmth the more sips I take. The flavors linger all the way down and seem to overtake my entire core. The fruits just linger on and on and are a true testament to the gentle nature of this cask. There are almost no woody or oaky notes here. The creamy orange citrus and that tiny piece of tinned pinapple is the last note for me.

What a treat to have such an old Arran. Rare as hen’s teeth these casks. Thanks so much Douglas Laing for parting with this and making our adventure this year just a little more fun.

On this day in our 5th edition we had the truly amazing Auchinderom Peated that is still available in very limited quantities from Secret Spirits. Hope that we kept up the tradition of the lucky 13 with this delicious Arran.

Go and check out our guest Youtubers at Single Malt Review in New Zealand. Whisky Whistle in Canada and Scotch Test Dummies in the US. Plus the bonus Food Quig reviews.

Tomorrow we are off to Speyside but this time staying away from the sherry for a distillery that has seen its share of calendar appearances.

Hope you are all going to enjoy the sleigh ride down the whisky adventure mountain all the way into Christmas town.

Until tomorrow may you glass be full and your life relaxed enough to enjoy it.




  1. Jessie Voisin says:

    As we have reached the halfway point in this year’s journey I just wanted to say great picks and appreciate the background info of each dram that you provide in these blogs. Haven’t commented as much this year as real life intervenes but having a great Advent journey thru Scotch whisky regions.

  2. Jeff Endrizzi says:

    One of the things I love about whisky is the very distinct differences. I’ve enjoyed this particular sample more than any of the other 12…such a light touch on the nose…caramel on the tongue without being too sweet…and a mellow oaky finish…unlike Jonathan, I do get some oak. Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *