There are a few liquor stores here in Holland we always need to visit when we are near. Versailles Dranken Nijmegen is definitely one of them. They have an incredible collection of whisky from all over the world and we’ve already spent hours and hours of our life searching their shelves.
Sadly, our last visit dates from February 2020 due to the COVID19 circumstances and restrictions. But during that last visit, we picked up a special bottle. This 21 year old Isle of Arran Single Malt by an unknown bottler.
Tasting this whisky is like drinking a piece of history. Distilled in July 1997, long before the first official commercially available Arran was released, and bottled in October 2018.
1997 is the year the visitor centre was opened by Her Majesty The Queen and it feels a bit special that this liquid, which we’re able to drink these days, was running through the distillery at that moment. Two casks were presented to her for Princes William and Harry, and these casks are still slumbering peacefully in Warehouse 1. We think chances are slim that we can get our hands on the contents of these casks, so this is probably as close as we can get.
Very warming, tropical scents like mango and pineapple. Tangerine, peaches, fudge and nougat are coming along. Sultanas, ginger and lime. Some salty strawberries and coconut are in there as well.
Smooth with citrus, pineapple and peaches. It’s juicy and greasy at the same time.
A medium-length finish, dry, zesty and a bit savoury. Some leather tops it off.
Pictured on the label of this 21 year old cask strength, bottled at 51.5% abv, is the beautiful Lochranza golf course. We think that just might be the perfect location for downing a dram like this one. Whenever these uncertain times are over, gather some friends for a game of golf, swing a few balls, pitch and putt. Get ready to tee off at hole 1, avoiding the rough around 5, and enjoying the wildlife at hole 9.
Your score doesn’t matter, whether you can hit a driver, or mostly miss (like we do). All that matters is, when the time allows us, to get back and spend some time with your friends and family, and maybe share a dram like this one. You deserve it.