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There is a slight initial hit (for me this hit lasts less than a half second) of seaweed, smoke and salt before the nose settles and becomes fruity (pear-like), with a vanilla sweetness, and the only part of the initial moment that remains is the salt. I keep sniffing again and again just to make sure that I'm not just imagining that first seaside hit - but it is there every time. Intriguing.
The taste is vanilla sweet with a slight salty smokiness - fruity, even slight notes of chocolate. Just enough spice to leave your mouth and lips tingling. Very warm, even hot - and quite smooth.
The finish is full of pears, vanilla sweetness, with the spice from the taste leaving your mouth tingling. Not terribly long, but charming.
I find the Arran to be a genuinely good everyday malt. It doesn't knock your socks off, but without having anything that stands out about it, it is a genuinely charming little dram. I can't put my finger on it, but I genuinely enjoy drinking it.
Personally, the Arran is what I drink when I don't know what I want, and am too tired or lazy to be bothered thinking about it. So, not sure what to drink? Can't be bothered figuring out what you want to drink? Then get a bottle of Arran 10 year old - problem solved. It's never let me down.