Arran Machrie Moor Batch 4 Review

 “Unfinished Business”

Country: Scotland 
Region: Highland - Island - Arran
Brand: Arran Machrie Moor Batch 4 (Peated)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (My guess: 5-10 Years)
ABV: 46 %

Colour: Pale White Wine

Nose: The first impression is a wave of Rubber and Plastic. I picked up the glass after a couple of minutes again and thankfully things had calmed down. This is without any doubt a young Whisky. There's still a New Make feel to the Spirit with some slightly artificial Orchard Fruit and Grass Aromas. The Alcohol is very present and a bit Harsh and Edgy. I also find Earthy Peat, light Smoke, Sweet Cereals, Buttered Toast, Bounty Chocolate Bars, Pineapple, Yeast, Lemon and some BBQ Aromas. A hint of Menthol and some Vanilla after a while. It's not really bad but terms like Unfinished, Messy and Lack of Balance come to mind. Arran mostly produces unpeated Spirit and I can certainly see why. Their young Spirit seems perhaps a bit too Light and Delicate to be able to deal with the Peaty Aromas in a balanced way.   

Palate: Bitter-Sweet, Fiery and quite Dry towards the end. Despite the solid ABV, the delivery is still slightly Watery. Alongside the Earthy Peat and light Smoke, I find Lemon, Grapefruit, Pear Drops, slightly Sour Apples, Vanilla, Young Wood, Nuts, Brown Sugar, Pepper and Cardamom.   

Finish: Not overly long with Cereals, Brown Sugar, Nuts, Dry Earth, light Smoke, Young Alcohol, light Vanilla, Pepper and clear Licorice - and Menthol notes.  

The Arran Machrie Moor does not improve with added Water. 

Rating: 78 

Nose: 20 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 19.5

General Remarks: Arran is a very young distillery and only started selling Single Malts in 1995. It is located on the Isle of Arran, off the Scottish West Coast. Machrie Moor is the name of a Peat Bog on the West Coast of the island. The Single Malt I'm tasting today is lightly peated at 20 PPM. The first peated batch was released in 2010 while Batch 4 was released in 2013. It's not Chill-Filtered, most likely uncoloured and costs around 55 US Dollars (August 2015). It won't be easy to find though as only a limited number of bottles was released. In the meantime Batch # 5 was released in 2014.

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Conclusion: I don't know if Arran decided to launch this peated Spirit as an experimental novelty or out of necessity to make cash with young Spirit using a mystical name and, I must admit, slick presentation. In any case I feel that the Machrie Moor is simply too Young, Rough and Unbalanced. I'm not impressed. What a difference with the Devil's Punch Bowl I reviewed earlier! That Spirit showed that Arran has ample possibilities to produce fine Single Malts. In my opinion however it's risky to launch young Spirits like the Machrie Moor that might turn off potential Arran fans. Maybe I'm a bit too Harsh but so is the Machrie Moor!

Jan van den Ende                                                                  August 17, 2015

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