The combination of smoke and sherry is a favorite among Swedish whisky enthusiasts. And no wonder – the elegant sherry with its subtle notes of dried berries and fruits pairs exceptionally well with robustly peated whisky.
When Symposion’s Thomas Kuuttanen visited the Isle of Arran for the first time, he discovered that they had smoky sherry casks in their warehouses. That ignited his passion. He immediately began persuading the distillery manager and export manager to create a heavily peated sherry bomb for Sweden – an Arran Extra Allt. Arran had never considered bottling such a whisky, and it was humorously nicknamed “The Crazy Swede.” The whisky still goes by that nickname.
“The Crazy Swede,” or Arran Heavily Peated Sherry Cask, as it is officially called, has been crafted from at least seven-year-old intensely saturated oloroso casks, and its alcohol strength is at 50% to ensure robust concentration. Additionally, the whisky boasts a substantial smokiness that doesn’t overpower Arran’s distinctive house style with plenty of flavorful esters.
The nose reveals a sweet and rounded profile, featuring gentle foresty peat, caramelized fruit notes, and a delightful blend of autumnal aromas. The taste, with its medium texture and minimal heat, unfolds a symphony of sweetness – from nutty oloroso to hints of ginger, orange, and a medley of pastries. As the whisky evolves, it unveils a rich tapestry of flavors, reminiscent of a distant forest campfire and hot cocoa.
The finish is a medium-length journey through nutty, smoky oloroso, accented by cocoa powder, orange peel, and cinnamon-dusted red apples. The maltiness lingers, creating a dry, almost sourdough note that leaves a lasting impression.
Arran Heavily Peated Sherry Casks is truly a whisky with everything! It won Systembolaget’s tasting with top marks. The fact that its color outshines other well-established sherry bombs adds to the excitement. “The Crazy Swede” is now available in all Systembolaget stores. Art.number 501-01. 589 SEK for 70cl. Sensitive whisky drinkers, beware. This is a truly substantial flavor bomb. Cheers!