The Arran Malt is produced by the only distillery on the Isle of Arran. It’s a relative newcomer, opened in 1995, which I think has worked out well for them. 1995 was just before the current whisky boom which began in the mid to late 2000’s so their malt became available just as people started to become interested in more varied types of whisky, craft presentation (uncoloured and un-chill filtered) and so forth. And they have really adapted well to that market.
I really like the distillery character, it’s very fragrant and floral, making it an excellent Summer whisky, and it goes well with all sorts of cask types. The 14 year old is my favourite of the core range, and the first Arran I actually purchased (after trying the 10 year old), and has been one of the few bottles that I’ve re-purchased. As I often mention, I like younger whiskies and for me this sits at the perfect balancing point between distillate character and cask influence.
Aged 14 years. 46%ABV. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.
Nose: Had to let this one sit and settle down for about 10min. Very fragrant peaches. Potpourri. Fresh blossoms in the spring. Sticky fruit punch. Very juicy citrus (fruit not rind). Cereals. Wet grass. Vanilla. Coconut ice. Caramel candies. Hint of sweet red fruits or candied raisins. Slight woodspice.
Palate: Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla custard. Lovely gentle floral notes. Crystallized ginger. Woodspice. Slight hint of char on the swallow, probably from first fill bourbon casks.
Finish: Long and warm. Dry wood on the tongue. Grassy notes in the mouth. A lovely sweet and salty note lingers for ages.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was a really lovely summer dram. Vibrant and fragrant with lots of character. Arran strikes me as a whisky is very good young (I’ve had a 4 year old Arran before bottled here in Israel and I liked it a lot) and much of that character from the spirit has carried on into this older expression.