Fireside favourite: Arboralis

The Thirsty Travellers have been enjoying a light, luscious whisky from the famed The Glen Grant distillery in Scotland. Called Arboralis, it’s perfect for an early evening dram beside the fire.

We were introduced to the new release by Robin Coupar, Global Whisky Advocate for Campari, and Dennis Malcolm, Master Distiller at The Glen Grant.

Malcolm has almost 60 years of experience in the whisky industry and has worked for Glen Grant for more than five decades. Malcolm is famed for being an incomparable tour guide through The Glen Grant distillery and its splendid gardens, which he illustrates with anecdotes delivered with a twinkle in his eye and a charismatic Scottish brogue.

However, COVID-19 restrictions mean he is sharing his pride in Arboralis via virtual masterclasses and The Thirsty Travellers was lucky enough to join one.

Arboralis has been aged in former bourbon and Spanish sherry oak casts that are sheltered by tall, ancient trees that line the Victorian gardens of The Glen Grant Distillery. 

“We are very proud of our newest single malt, which we call our very own ‘liquid gold,’” said Malcolm. “It’s particularly exciting to launch the product on the year of our 180th anniversary, to celebrate The Glen Grant’s heritage and inspire future generations of Scotch enthusiasts.”

Campari sent a box of goodies to The Thirsty Travellers to enhance the experience, including dried fruits, cheese and chocolate. It was an eye-opener to try the whisky with the different flavours, dark chocolate being a particular favourite.

“Virtual tastings have given us the opportunity to connect with whisky enthusiasts from all over the world,” Malcolm said. “Usually, we are bound to the visitors to our distillery in Rothes, Scotland. It’s exciting to be able to meet whisky enthusiasts and newcomers to the dram alike from around the world, and define a new way of connection moving forward.”

Malcolm noted that he was thrilled to see so many women, including Ginger, taking part in the Australian masterclass.

“Five to 10 years ago our guests at the distillery were predominantly enthusiastic men,” he explained. “Now, we are seeing more and more young women take a keen interest in whisky and due to what I believe is a more refined sense of smell, are able to appreciate more tasting notes than men. At The Glen Grant, we welcome one and all!”

Malcolm said Arboralis is the “perfect entry whisky for those who are keen to learn more and join the category”.

“It’s smoothness, combined with oak and butterscotch taste, are all easy on the palate and newcomers are able to better understand the process of how we make those flavours,” he noted.

Ginger has declared it her favourite whisky that she’s tried in recent years. She loved the golden hue and long finish, with its notes of malt, vanilla and pear.

The Glen Grant Arboralis is available from liquor retail outlets for RRP $60.99.

Malcolm is also preparing to introduce whisky fans to Arboralis via a virtual tasting through Boozebud.

The first 100 people to purchase a bottle of Arboralis in Australia will receive a kit including samples of the 10-Year-Old and 18-Year-Old Glen Grant whisky. The virtual whisky tasting will then be accessed via an application download inviting people to join Malcolm for the live session on June 4.

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