Chapter I took us to the edge of what Arran is capable of; a zesty islander, with tons of malt, pepper and just the right amount of peat and spice. Chapter II, Angels & Devils, brought us a slightly toned down pepper, with a hefty dose of sherry added to the mix. Chapter III leaves out the peat completely, and substitutes the missing casks with French Oak barriques (a barrique is, more or less, what wine makers call their barrel sized casks).
I think the third’s packaging artwork is the coolest of the three, though the disappearance of the dates of the casks is unfortunate. If there were one criticism of the series I could voice, it would be that Arran had a terrific opportunity to open conversations about age statements, but caved to marketing pressures. This is a delicious malt, and worth every penny of the ~$130 it sold for.
Nose: The apricots have evolved into juicy peaches marinated in white ver jus. Grapefruit zest and coconut along with the sweet hay we’ve come to expect. More wood with more elegance than the other two chapters. Digging a little deeper I find chocolate syrup and green lime gummy bears. No peat in this one, so the nose is deliciously clean and mouth watering.
Palate: Ver jus sweetness kicks off with the extreme malt and hay that hallmarks the series. The sweet notes balance the peppery notes toning the fire down despite Chapter III having the highest proof of the three. The tart grapes are a perfect balance to the extra wood. Pears in syrup, gentle cinnamon, and Golden Grahams. Slight wine and a loooong finish.
Chapter III, The Fiendish Finale, is easily my favorite of the three. If you find a bottle on a shelf, you should immediately ask yourself WWTDD; What Would The Devil Drink? It would be supple, fiery, addictive and powerful. This is it.