Whisky Review: Arran 18 Years Old (Bottled 2016)

Category: Island single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Arran Distillery

Bottling: Isle of Arran Distillers

ABV: 46%

Cost: £75.95 from Master of Malt

arran-18-year-old-whisky

What they say:

The Arran 18 year-old is the oldest expression in our core range of single malts.

The Arran 18 year-old is a wonderfully balanced expression of The Arran Malt which displays the tremendous depth of character of our Distillery.

Caramelised citrus and tropical notes on a background of toasted oak have created an intense, well rounded dram with charm and personality. A balanced mix of our finest aged ex-Sherry and ex-Bourbon Casks, this fully mature expression of The Arran Malt is exceptional.

Appearance
Honeyed gold

Aroma

Baked peaches with syrup and toasted almonds. Vanilla and light cinnamon spice.

Taste

Sweetness, Spice, Citrus, Baked peaches.

What I say:

Dramvent Calender Day 12

This December I am attempting to sample and review a whisky everyday for the 24 days of Advent in the run up to Christmas. My very basic criteria as I sorted through my masses of whisky and samples were these:

  1. Single malt scotch only and should be (or have been) generally/easily available
  2. Each day must be from a different distillery
  3. Each day must be equivalent in age or older than the previous

Following on from Arran Distillery’s first limited release 18 Year Old back in 2015,  they launched a standard 18 Year Old expression as the oldest of their core range during 2016. This is our 20th Arran review, like Ben Nevis from Day 10 – this was another distillery I didn’t sample until late in my journey through all of Scotland’s active distilleries, however we have more than made up for that omission!

Colour:

Dark amber gold (11/20), quick medium-sized tears present with medium fine legs and some beading along them

Nose:

Dried orange peel and leather, sweet jammy/marmalade, ginger & orange with spiced hints, dry cinnamon and nutmeg spices, a little like an apothecary shop, toffee, milk chocolate, some chocolate covered cinder toffee, hints of other fruits like apple and banana, some biscuit and vanilla – sherry aromas first then more subtle bourbon-derived aromas follow.

Taste:

Smooth and creamy and full bodied, some zesty ginger & orange marmalade, black pepper spice, highland toffee, milk chocolate, malty cereal barley, orange cream chocolates, vanilla cream, apple and pear/orchard fruits, some oak wood

Finish:

Long, sweet citrus candied orange peel, spiced and dark chocolate/bitter persists

Overall:

Quite spiced and interesting, there is a good balance throughout of zesty citrus fruit and good dark chocolate however I found myself being surprised that this was 18 years old as it felt a little too young and zesty/spicy to carry off that age statement.

Score: 85/100

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