Whisky Review: Arran 18 Years Old (Bottled 2016)
Category: Island single malt scotch whisky
Origin: Arran Distillery
Bottling: Isle of Arran Distillers
Cost: £75.95 from Master of Malt
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.
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:
- Single malt scotch only and should be (or have been) generally/easily available
- Each day must be from a different distillery
- 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!
Dark amber gold (11/20), quick medium-sized tears present with medium fine legs and some beading along them
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.
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
Long, sweet citrus candied orange peel, spiced and dark chocolate/bitter persists
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.
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