Whisky Connosr
Shop Join

Arran 10 Year Old

Maturity, not age: more than a marketing slogan?

10 586

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

6th May 2019


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I remember rolling my eyes at a marketing guy's statement that "maturity and age aren't the same thing". He was defending a move by a major distillery to do away with age statements in their core range and replace their age stated bottles with the names of Pole Dancers, er, I mean colours. He went on to compare choosing which whiskies to blend to "picking an apple when it's perfectly ripe as opposed to when it reaches a certain age". The whole thing reeked of pretentiousness and condescension to me, but Isle of Arran's 10 year old has made me somewhat re-think my stance. Peated whisky often gets a free pass for younger age-stated releases since they're usually peatier at a younger age. But unpeated whiskies are often (mistakenly) perceived as getting better with age. So what does a young Arran taste like?

Tasting notes

  • Nose (undiluted): pineapple, mangoes, oranges, vanilla, cinnamon, wood varnish,
  • Palate (undiluted): soft, floral, creamy, ripe red apples, lemon, orange, and a bit of grapefruit
  • Finish: medium length, a bit waxy, then croissants, butter, honey, vanilla and toasted oak

Water doesn't really change much at all. I'd skip it altogether, unless that's your thing.

Arran's 10 Year Old single malt has no sharp, bitter, spirit notes and is wonderfully balanced. It's not the most complex whisky I've ever tasted, but it's no one-hit wonder either. I can't remember what I paid for this, but I think it was about the same price as Glenmorangie 10, and Arran is bottled at natural colour, unchil-filtered and at 46% abv. It's a winner in my books. I believe this is an ideal whisky for introducing someone to Scottish single malt.

Related Arran reviews


Hewie commented

Good to see a review of this. I agree - I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed my bottle. Available at a very reasonable price too for 46% ABV, natural colour and NCF.

4 years ago 5Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Hewie - I'd second that. For me, this is just a perfectly approachable, and what one could term 'basic', malt but with little Island/coastal touches - it does what it does very well indeed. Well-presented, well-crafted and quite moreish!

4 years ago 4Who liked this?

conorrob commented

Good whisky ... good price ... great review .... SlaĆ­nte

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

You're right about Arran being a good malt to introduce people to scotch.

A lad at my work was into bourbon and when he found out I like whisky said he wanted to try scotch but didn't know where to start. I gave him a sample of Arran.

He now loves scotch and has bottles of Laphroaig and so on.

4 years ago 4Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Wierdo - Wait till you try this MacTaggart edition . . . I'm not kidding when I say snapping one up before they're all gone would not be a wasted investment! (sample's a given though wink )

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in