Arran 2013 // Port Charlotte 2008 (Fisherman’s Retreat)

The Fisherman's RetreatThe Fisherman's RetreatThe Fisherman’s Retreat is a restaurant and wedding venue near Manchester, but they also have a valued bar and store.

We’ll be trying two of their shop bottlings: an Arran 2013 (Yalumba Octavius Shiraz wine cask) and a Port Charlotte 2008 (Haut Brion cask). They seem to have a preference for red wine casks (specifically from the Southern hemisphere), also for their previous releases.

 

 

 

Arran 2013 Yalumba - Fisherman's RetreatArran 2013 Yalumba - Fisherman's RetreatArran 5 yo 2013
(54%, Fisherman’s Retreat 2018, Yalumba Octavius cask, 191 btl.)

Salmon colour. : slightly gimmicky red wine maturation, like in the early days. Cooked strawberries and a hint of rubber. Rosé port notes and old roses. Hints of pink grapefruit as well. Some porridge in the background. Mouth: oh so winey. Strawberry bubblegum and vanilla. Hints of liquorice, aspirin, mandarin peel and this tangy dryness of a red wine. Malty notes and oak spice, mostly pepper. : not too long, slightly hot.

Some casks simply don’t work too well with whisky in my opinion – it’s easy to drown Arran with red wine. At around € 100 for a 50 cl bottle, difficult to recommend. False start.

Score: 71/100

 

 

 

Port Charlotte 2008 Haut-Brion - Fisherman's RetreatPort Charlotte 2008 Haut-Brion - Fisherman's RetreatPort Charlotte 10 yo 2008
(54%, Fisherman’s Retreat 2018, Haut-Brion cask, 360 btl.)

Nose: now this can stand up to a bit of red wine. There’s the typical farmy / peaty side, with plenty of cured Spanish hams and dark cecina, old cellars and attics and hints of warm beach sand. Smoked cereals. After a while nice, jammy fruits appear (cassis, cherries). Some buttery vanilla and toffee in the background. Nice and clean. Mouth: very ashy and smoky, a lot of cured meats again, as well as some smoked lemons, blood oranges and kippers. Dried pear. Pipe tobacco. Hints of juniper. Just a wee sour from the wine cask. Finish: rather long, with sweet and sour fruits, liquorice, dark smoke and herbal notes.

This is much more like it. If you insist on using red wine casks, then choose a powerful spirit. Same price: around € 100 and much better value in my opinion. Available from their online shop.

Score: 86/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/bruichladdich/arran-2013-port-charlotte-2008-fishermans-retreat/

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