Got a few Arran’s for you today! Gotta say, I love the new packaging and range. The new bottles have a great look and feel, though of course its the juice that we’re really interested in. Plenty of the new stuff seems darker, with more sherry casks in the mix of the usual age statement range.
Having started in 1995, it is now Arran’s 25th Anniversary, which should bring some exciting things as well.
If memory serves, my first experience of Arran was the 12yo cask strength, which I found very solid but isn’t around anymore. Since then I’ve always found Arran to be very dependable, quality malt.
Arran 10 (2019) 46%
Colour: Dark Gold
Nose: A sweet shop that only sells gummy sweets, some kiwi, keylime pie, whipped cream, very fresh and bright.
Taste: Malty and soft then a big hit of fresh fruit, melon and apple, gummy sweets but goes a bit rubbery.
Finish: Short/Medium length. More rubbery here with some malt and apple.
Fresh and malty, kept back a little by the rubbery notes that I seem to be very sensitive to.
Arran 18 (2019) 46%
Nose: Bright cherry, malt and chocolate. A heavier, almost meaty Arran. Toffee apple, a little gravy maybe, some vanilla, a little creamy.
Taste: Malty arrival, raspberry and cherry, again quite heavy and thick, almost Mortlachian, then some unfortunate rubber. Seems that the sherry wasn't quite perfect.
Finish: Short length. A little of that rubber and cherry but another short finish...
This was so almost so damn good. A Mortlach of an Arran ruined by the rubber and short finish. Fun whisky though.
Arran 21 (2019) 46%
Colour: Light Amber
Nose: Malty and robust with plenty of fruit, red apple, spearmint, herbal pockets, wild strawberry, dark chocolate truffles, all nicely in balance and expressive.
Taste: Soft arrival, really good, chocolate and malt, a little orange, wild strawberry, dry oak, some leather, goes a bit flat into the finish.
Finish: Medium/Long length. A bit flatter here with oak and a little chocolate.
Would be in the 80's if the finish hadn't let it down. Nose is the star here.
Arran Sherry Cask 'The Bodega' 55.8%
Nose: Ethereal rather than a full on Sherry bomb, actually a bit medicinal, cherry cough sweets, cherry lip gloss, something slightly mouldy? Interesting nose.
Taste: Sharp and sweet, medicinal again, cough syrup, raisin and prune, plum, quite fruity and something more oily as it develops. A bit of rubber near the finish.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Fades quicker than expected. Fruity with some rubber.
Not completely pleasant but very interesting whisky.
Arran The Bothy Batch 3 53.2%
Nose: Slightly tropical, austere, lemon, butterscotch biscuits, some nettle and mint, creamy vanilla.
Taste: Soft and creamy, biscuit, malt, lemon, dark chocolate, some leather, really nicely balanced, oily into the finish.
Finish: Medium length. Very oily here with more creamy biscuits.
Quarter casks used. Similar to the Wolfburn Langskip.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Reviews #842-#846
Whisky Network Reviews #1012-#1016
Network Average: 75.2
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.