Arran Devil's Punch Bowl Review

(You’re the) Devil in Disguise!

Country: Scotland 
Region: Highland - Island - Arran
Brand: Arran Devil's Punch Bowl
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age:  NAS 
ABV: 52.3 %

Colour: Full Gold

Nose: Very Elegant with Lovely Soft Peat, Fine Oak, Buttered Toast and Apricot Marmalade, Apple Pie, Peach Pastry, Dried Fruits, Custard, Toffee, light Citrus Peel, Malt, Dried Herbs, a precise Cardamom note and a sprinkle of Salt. The Alcohol is nicely integrated. Well done! 

Palate: It's nice but it doesn't keep all the promises of the Nose. It's Sweet and Spicy at the same time with Apples, Orange flavoured Tea, Apricot, Lemon Zest, Oak, Mint, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Aniseed, very light Peat and a hint of Tobacco Leaves.

Finish: Sweet and Spicy with Peach, Apricot, Vanilla, Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Mint, Cardamom and a hint of Espresso.

With a bit of Water the Nose gets a little more Soft Peat, Fruit, Honey and Custard. Extra Spices and a hint of Bourbon on the Palate. This Arran invites you to play with a couple of drops of Water at the time.

Rating: 86

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: Arran is a very young distillery and only started selling Single Malts in 1995. It's located on the Isle of Arran, off the Scottish West Coast. The Devil's Punch Bowl is named after a terrific location on the Isle of Arran where a waterfall plunges in a pool in the form of a cauldron. This limited edition was released in 2012 and prepared with 24 Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry Casks that were selected and vatted by Arran Master Distiller James MacTaggart. For the first time both young peated - and mature unpeated Arran spirit was used to produce this Single Malt that is naturally coloured and bottled at Cask Strength. Only 6.660 bottles were commercialised. Upon its release it was sold at around 125 US Dollars but today you might need to add another 100 US Dollars to that!

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: A very nice Single Malt from this young distillery. It's certainly not a Devil on the Nose. On the contrary! I find it Elegant with Nice Fruit, Fresh Pastry, the Softest of Peat and a remarkable Cardamom note. The Nose is the beautiful Waterfall. The Palate and the Finish tell a slightly different story all together. Here I can visualise a Cauldron with its devilish mixture of Pepper, Nutmeg, Aniseed, Cardamom, Mint and Tobacco. Still, I would have loved to see a little more balance here. But this Arran honours its name and gives us an idea of what goodies we can expect from them in the future! 

Jan van den Ende                                                              February 14, 2014


Whiskycuse said...

Hi Jan, I always wanted to taste this Whisky, but I never could buy one bottle. Seems to be a real good dram. I hope I will get the opportuity some day...


Jan van den Ende said...

Hey Marcus, thanks for commenting! I think you would like the Nose! The rest is not bad but not THAT interesting!
Cheers, Enjoy Your Sunday!