Review: Arran 18 year old single malt scotch whisky

Arran Distillery via Whiskybroker, Cask RHH1023

53.2% ABV

£46 for 70cl from Whiskybroker

Score: 88/100

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What they say:

18yo Arran, 70cl, 53.2%
Single Malt Scotch Whisky bottled by whiskybroker.co.uk.

This whisky, distilled on 12th August 1996 at Arran Distillery, has been matured in an oak hogshead for over 18 years. The whisky has not been chill filtered, nor has any colouring been added. This whisky has been lightly filtered to remove large particles of wood sediment from the cask, but may still contain small traces, which are visible only when bottle is left standing for a period of time.

Each bottle is individually numbered.

Cask Details:
Hogshead number 1023
Distilled 12th August 1996
Bottled 27th January 2015
The cask yielded 292 bottles at a natural cask strength of 53.2% vol.

Arran18yoWhB-RHH1023

What I say:

Thanks to Ben at Ben’s whisky blog for sharing samples of all three of the Whiskybroker 18yo Arran releases (see Ben’s notes here). I had been sitting on these for some time, waiting for the right moment to sample them. After our recent visit to Arran distillery and a guided tour through their core range of expressions – now seemed as good a time as any to run these as comparators. The result – Arran are clearly doing a lot of things right in their whisky making as even in this single cask example a good deal of core character is retained and forms the basis of the more enjoyable elements in it.

Colour:

Refractive full gold, Eiswein (7/20), small droplets with very fine trails

Nose:

Sweet, sweet, icing sugar, vanilla, a little honey, some apple, peach and white grape juices, floral daisies and fresh linen/fabric softener (laundrette), a touch of clear caramel syrup and some oak wood, heathery honey and plum fruits, tobacco leaf and cigar boxes and sandalwood in equal measure

Taste:

Cereal malt, barley, oaty, biscuit, a little digestive, milk chocolate – reminds me of the chocolate covered oatmeal cookies I get from Paterson’s (Arran!) biscuit factory right here in Livingston, some sticky woodland or almost heathery honey (a little more sweet than the savoury of true heather-honey), light caramel syrup, a little oak wood fresher/greener than the nose, quite thin in mouthfeel with some vanilla, coconut and white chocolate

Finish:

Medium, light spice and a little alcohol burn from the ABV recedes into smooth caramel and chocolate covered rich tea biscuits

Overall:

A very nice single cask Arran example from Whiskybroker. Light on the fruity elements that usually derive from the long fermentation times that Arran distillery brew there wash. Juicy and crisp white fruits on the nose don’t come through on the palate leaving a veritable selection of biscuit and chocolate flavours that are just delicious!