Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Single Cask Isle of Arran for Isetan

Post by Stefan Van Eycken, Tokyo
We already knew our friends down in the basement at Isetan Shinjuku had a soft spot for the Arran Malt, so it didn't really come as a surprise that they selected something from that distillery to celebrate the revamped 'Isetan tartan'. Any excuse will do. Still, it's quite a treat to get two single casks - and two really good ones, at that - in such a short span of time. The latest one is a 16yo (1996/2013) drawn from a refill ex-sherry hogshead and bottled at cask-strength (52.6%) - it yielded a mere 120 bottles and half of the outturn is gone already, which is understandable considering how good and how reasonably priced (10,500 yen) it is. I believe they've also got a few bottles of their first offering left (the 'Ambassador's Cask') and four different Karuizawas. If that's not enough to justify a detour via Shinjuku, I don't know what is...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Stefan,

Thanks for the tip. I might pick up a bottle. Btw, are those Karuizawa's all 4 recent Isetan bottlings or any other expressions?

Thanks a lot!

Stefan Van Eycken said...

Thanks for your kind words. The Karuizawas are all recent Isetan bottlings - they closed the book on Karuizawa there, so there won't be any new ones coming out, unless they change their mind.. which I doubt they will.

Anonymous said...

If given a choice, which one of the two Isetan Arrans would you choose? The other one if I recall is younger but you liked it a lot. Thx

Stefan Van Eycken said...

Difficult question. The Ambassador's Cask is 'sexier' (its attraction is more immediate and direct), whereas the New Tartan Cask is more 'hermetic' (doesn't reveal all of its charms immediately)... It's safest to go for the Ambassador's Cask, I guess, but try them both if you're there and then you can make up your mind yourself.