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Arran 10 Year Old

Average score from 23 reviews and 80 ratings 83

Arran 10 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Arran
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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Arran 10 Year Old

As most of you know, I'm a big Arran fan. I've tried almost every Arran I've been able to find here in the states. I've been lucky enough to find some single casks and independent bottlings lingering around. And while I've had a few bottles of this 10yo, it's actually been a while since I restocked on it and I've never reviewed it. So let's dig into this "core" product in the Arran lineup.

Neat in a Glencairn.

Nose: Rich tropical fruits. Papaya, mango, pineapple, banana, lots of vanilla. I've heard this described (probably here on Connosr) as a tropical fruit salad and I couldn't agree more. A nice cereal note as well, I love getting a malty, cereal note that shows off the spirit itself. Very pleasant nose.

Palate: Honey, vanilla, cereal, and fruit. I'd say the honey and cereal notes really shine here relative to the nose. Funny thought, but I bet this would pair well with honey nut cheerios breakfast cereal. There's a resemblance. Also a resemblance to Balvenie 12yo, although I favor this.

Finish: Back and forth we go as the fruit comes back with a vengeance on the finish with the honey coated cereal note in the background.

Overall: Well no surprise here, but I think this is one of, if not the best, entry level single malt Scotch money can buy. The old 14yo (RIP) took this and amped it up to another level.


This is a late 2020 bottling of the flagship, age-stated malt from the only (for now) distillery on the Isle of Arran. I have to note that it is distinctly darker than the last bottle I bought (with the older label and taller bottle). I seem to remember hearing a rumour about them adding more sherry casks into the mix, and looking at the two bottles side by side, it would be a decent bet. I really enjoyed my last bottle of the ten and was surprised by the quality and fruity profile. So how is it faring a few years on?

Bottle's been open a few months with about three quarters left. Ive added a few drops of water to a 25ml pour. It's better when it opens up a touch, but, to my tastes, it will drown quickly and lose some of the mouth-feel.

Nose - There's this immediate sweet, fruitiness but it's tempered with a slight salty, earthy note that holds the sweeter notes up and adds depth. So, green apples, one red apple (there's my nod to Serge V ;), and something vaguely tropical - coconut perhaps? There's also a big note of thick honey that sits prominently, with some light grassy and white wine notes. Sweet malty biscuits and vanilla too.

Taste - Creamy vanilla, more apples, a hint of very sour pineapple, more of the wine and grassy notes in the development and, again, a sense of earthy warehouse and light saltiness. Digestive biscuits and light beer notes also. It has a pleasing, slight oily mouth-feel. Good grip, as they say.

Finish - more of the creamy vanilla, malt and a little salty, syrupy and honeyed sweetness. Malty.

Yes, this is still excellent and is a fabulous standard offering from the distillery. Good value too (c£35)! I like how if offers a lighter, fruitier profile whilst still managing to have some depth and a wee coastal touch - which keeps it interesting. This seems even more honeyed than the last bottle I had too but I'm not complaining. One with which I plan to stock up on - this is excellent whisky for the money, it really is.

Great review! So accurate I can almost taste it. Arran has a fresh, fruity, zingy profile I love and the 10 year old encapsulates it perfectly. Too bad I can never find it anymore.

@Megawatt - Thank you! I hope you manage to track down a bottle in the not too distant ...

Whiskies with an overtly fruity profile aren't always my favourites but I really like Arran's house style. This comes across more like a Highland as opposed to a Speyside. They used to (still do, I assume?) send all their casks to Bladnoch to mature in traditional dunnage warehouses for the first three years of their lives. An interesting practice and where I sense it gets that earthy, slight musty note from.


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.

Good whisky ... good price ... great review .... Slaínte

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.


The 10 Year Old is part of Arran’s standard range for many years now and I have been fortunate enough (yeah, well) to try it before. I found it to be okay-ish. Let’s see what this newer release from 2014 can do for me.

The nose is malty and sweet on mostly citrus and clear hints of fresh woodshavings. Quite sharp, in all honesty. After a few moments it settles down and offers hints of apple, melon and soft toffee and… errr… whipped cream.

The arrival is quite spicy. It even burns with the first sip. Immediately lots of spices from the wood and a prickle of the alcohol. Only with the second sip does the fruit shine through. Think banana, melon, coconut and some citrus. Green tea. Turns slightly bitter.

The finish is medium long, remains spicy and offers some fruit before fading on vanilla and some lime.

A young malt that suffers a bit from too active wood, I think. Too strong as an aperitif, but too light as an after-dinner dram. Okay, but not more than that.

@markjedi1 - 'Too strong as an aperitif, but too light as an after-dinner dram.'

I quite liked this but I know what you mean - I'd call it a 'session' dram wink

@markjedi1, your perceptions of Arran 10 are very close to my own, though I don't think I would rate it as much as 80 points worth. I would never buy a bottle of this one, though I like almost all of the wine finishes they've added to this standard OB Arran 10 yo.


This was a (OB) sample bottle I got for free with my last purchase:

Nose: Fresh and malty. Vanilla sweetness with a distinct whiff of unripe tangerine, interwoven with a very vague sea breeze.

Mouth: Medium body. All sorts of fruitiness going on – kiwis, pear drops, cantaloupe. Then citrus notes & some cinnamon. Definitely tastes young, but nice.

Finish: Relatively short. Clean and sweet. Those tangerines are back.

Average but perfectly civilized. Good balance hints at the excellent craftsmanship @ The Arran distillery. Very curious to try their upcoming 18 year old…


Arran is a somewhat lesser known Island distillery, in the Firth of Clyde just west of Campbeltown. Their 10 year old is their entry level malt, craft presented

  • Nose: creamy, floral honey and melon, grassy notes, almond lots of vanilla with a hint of brine and sea air with time sour green apple. With water really noses like a grain whisky, very custardy with egg notes, green apple and creamy vanilla are in the background, white pepper as well, hint of the floral honey.

  • Pallet: immediately the honey comes through then vanilla, barley sugar, more savoury herbal notes further develop to relative intensity then fades back to the grass and straw. With water spicier and creamier development is the same but the sour note has a little less prominent, bit more balance. Drinks very grain-ily.

  • Finish: sourness returns interestingly enough even extends to salty bitterness which then fades to dry sour malt. With water salty again, creamy feel left in the mouth with white pepper lingering.

  • Mark neat – 7.7, with water 8.2

Overall, this is quite a good whisky, but that sour note doesnt seem to belong there and i would say its a result of poor ... something, maturation, casks a foosty note perhaps and that really detracts from the rest of the malt. I like it but im glad i bought the minnature, but also glad i didnt buy the full bottle

Bought a bottleof the Arran 10 yr a little over a year ago...Thought it was alright, but certainly not worthy of Ralfy's score of 89.

Several months ago I purchased the older sibling 14 yr, and what a difference the extra 4 years makes!

Earlier today I sprang for another bottle of the 10 yr - just to be sure (thinking maybe it's just me - maybe there's alot more going on that I'm missing)...Nope - it seems to be the same as I recall, and a score in the low to mid 80's seems appropriate for this whisky.

As far as rich malty/vanilla 10 yr whiskys go - I personally feel the Bruichladdich 10 yr is wonderful, and puts this to shame.

@FMichael, yes, I think that you are right that an Arran 12 yo might be a better idea than the 10. The 10 yo does take on the wine finishes well, though, and I do like almost all of those. Even if they standardised on a 12 yo unfinished malt, they could still take it out for finishing at 10 years, as they do now.


What should malt whisky taste of... Malt? This one certainly does! My first encounter with this distillery was somewhat premature. I was a first year undergrad on a geology field trip to Arran and one of the excursions took us past the Lochranza distillery, but it must have been newly opened at the time as it was quite a few years ago. I get three main themes off the nose, malt, fruit and alcohol. The later is somewhat unusual from a malt, it’s the aroma that’s more obvious off cheap vodka. The fruits I get are apples, pears and apricots, there is also a touch of smoke in the mix too.
The palate is all about the malt which is sweet and crisp. Minor sub plots are provided by some apricots and a pleasant saltiness. Those fruity salty notes also play over the finish which is less dominated by the malt.
This whisky might come across as slightly one dimensional from this review, but the quality is there in this bottle although other reviews suggest this expression might have gone downhill recently.


The entry level Arran seems to divide the whisky community, some appreciate its honest simplicity, for others this seems to be a deal breaker. Non chill-filtered and no colour was added, the golden straw colour is the product of a marriage first and second fill bourbon and sherry casks on a 70-30 ratio, or was it 80-20? sources seem to differ.

Nose: Very light and clean nose, mild fruity characteristics: kiwi and bananas, butterscotch, but also farmy and grainy, scents reminiscent of a warm oatmeal.

Mouth: Creamy on the palate, citrus notes, spiced up with a teaspoon of ginger spice and sweet overripe apples.

Finish: Long, with a touch of salt but predominant vanilla overtones.

Conclusion: A nice, clean and refreshing malt: young and full of life. An inexpensive widely available whisky, which proved to be an easy and relax Sunday evening sipper. Although my preferences go out to its bustier older sister, the Arran 14yo.


Bottling note: Officially launched in 2006, this 10 year old is the heart of the Isle of Arran's only distillery. this is the Baseline of the Arran range and exudes all the honeyed richness we have come to associate with the island distillery.

A dram, 2 teaspoons of distilled water. Absolutely delicious.

Very Sweet. a great starter Scotch for the Young palates out there. Honey, Citrus, chewy fruit. Really a very well balanced Whisky for one so young.

I strongly recommend you visit Ralfy's Vlog on youtube. His review of this scotch is on the nose.(no pun intended)

for around $35 you cant beat this scotch.

I will second this, it's a great whisky. One of my favorite bottle right now. Glenfiddich is about the same price but doesn't offer the artisan presentation and the load of flavor found in this one. This Arran is the best entry level bottle I've tasted yet and it's a real bargain, worth giving a try.

Absolutely.Glenfiddich is great, but doesn't offer the range and Depth that Arran Offers. I cant Push it enough.


My first Arran was their "most entry" expression: their "approximately 8 year old" Original, which I have reviewed previously. Whereas the "Original" is only distributed in non-UK northwestern Europe (Arran refers to the webpage of their distributor: www.whisky.fr/arran-original.html), the 10 year old is their more widely available entry expression. Is it still light and refreshing, and is it preferable?

First vapor: Red apples

Nose: Salted butter, supported by fresh grass and a whisp of vanilla sweetness. There is also cantaloupe, if you're looking, and an impression of Nori sheets.

Palate: Smack of salted butter drizzled on overripe yellow apple. The butter grows with vanilla and some gingery spice.

Finish: More butter and yellow apple, with (non-peppery) nutmeg.

Compared to the younger Original, this 10yo malt is still light and refreshing, but provides stronger sensations. I drank the Original solely during summers, since it was so light. While the 10 is not exactly heavy, it calls out for more attention than the Original. The nose is still vanilla-- but thicker. The "thin" smells I described in the younger Arran (grass, rosewater, and strawberry) are now replaced with more substantial notes of butter and salt or slight seaweed. The palate and finish also have more butter, and an apple-y fruitiness has emerged.

Happily, I have not noticed much difference in a few-months aged sample. If anything, the flavors have just intensified.

The Arran 14, which I will review soon, has a different character, with more oak and some different fruit influences.

The closest malts to the Arran 10 in my mindbank are Glenlivet 18, Glenfarclas 10, & Glendronach Octarine. The Arran is: saltier than the 'livet, less complex than the 'farclas, and perhaps less balanced than the 'dronach. You can see my reviews of those, for more details.

I bought this one recently based on the fact that it is 46%, non chill-filtered and natural colour. It's been open for a few weeks now and I am starting to like it. I'd like to try the 16 if I can find it. Nice review, thanks.

So far I am not a fan of the Arran 10, but I am a big fan of the Arran 14, and of most of the wine-finished versions of the 10.


It has been quite a ride the last two days: woke up yesterday with a migraine (called in sick), slept most of the day, and threw my annual Christmas whisky party last night - which as always was amazing (sad though that @padddockjudge, @Victor and @dramlette couldn't make it this year!) And today, my girlfriend and her son arrive from Vancouver for a three-week stay! So somewhere amidst all the chaos, I've found a few minutes to write up Day 21.

This is the entry level Arran single malt. Launched in 2006, it is matured in about 70% second-fill sherry casks, with the remaining 30% split between bourbon and first-fill sherry casks.

The colour is a light honey. On the nose, banana seems to be the dominant note. Malty, slightly herbal, Mackintosh toffee and lemon pith. Water opens the malt up nicely. Very clean and fresh.

On the palate, very bright and young with more citrus notes, vanilla, tropical fruits and spice (cumin?). Some sour apple adds a bit of tang. Water ups the spice a little. Again, very fresh and sprightly.

The finish has both depth and elegance, with lingering vanilla and toffee. Spicy and fruity. This is a lovely everyday malt. It could use a bit more body and complexity, but like everything I've had from this distillery, it is well worth savouring.

I was pretty happy with this too, as lighter malt; will finally post my review, probably in a couple weeks.

One "interesting" correction, which I think few are aware of: the "real" entry-level expression from Arran is the "Arran Original", which comes in a copper container. Though NAS, it is somewhere between 7 and 8 years old in age, and for some reason it is only distributed in northwestern Europe (as far as I know). Light but surprisingly good/balanced for its age.

True! And by the way, I shouldn't have said "correction" ('gotcha!') but rather "interesting side note". I inquired about the absence of Arran Original on their website, some time ago. They replied that they do not publicise, because they mainly export where I mentioned above. They sent me their flier and referred me to their official distributor's site: www.whisky.fr/arran-original.html


Warm sweet long slow arrival develops a steady fruity, vanilla, woody, middle and a long thick slow balanced complex awesome finish.


Nose: Sharp. Citrus and zest, with white tea undertone. Eucalyptus and creme brûlée emerge from the depths.

Palate: Spicy. 80/20 black pepper to cinnamon. A dry natural sweetness sits and mild wood suggests itself shyly.

Body: Thin with a bite.

Finish: A light finish of wood and iron linger in a puff of air. The iron has the last word.

I would not go out of my way to buy this scotch, but I also wouldn't turn down a dram. It will satisfy a general craving for whiskey, but it's story was lost when it left the distillery.



The title doesn't mean I tasted oranges in the Arran Malt 10 years old. It describes the same mixed emotions I got when I saw the Kubrick's groundbreaking movie for the first time. The same reaction I got with Arran 10 for the first time. Clockwork Orange was violent and disturbing but it was also funny and ridiculous. In a same way Arran 10 was contradictory in its positioning on the ‘fruity whisky’ category.

How can a whisky be as fruity and yet as powerful in your throat (not smooth). I’m not a friend of fruity whiskies so my points should not be taken seriously, if you’re a “fruit lover”. And I’m not saying this is a bad whisky. On the contrary, this is very rich and versatile. I wouldn’t buy a bottle of this in my cabinet again but I can honestly recommend this for everyone as a sample. The right word for Arran 10 is interesting.

Nose: Very poignant with green fruits such as apples and pears.

Taste: Sweet with grape and bitter oak, slight salty.

Finish: Length is good but unfortunately taste is not for me. Very powerful, a kick in the throat, which I usually like (but not with this kind of fruit explocion).

Balance: With a stingy aroma and wild palate, this is adventurous whisky. I'm sure that this is a wet dream for people who enjoy fruity whisky every now and then.


Arran is a young distillery, founded less than twenty years ago by Harold Currie, a former director at Chivas. Production started in 1995, Euan Mitchell is the manager. Apart from ending up in the Lochranza and Robert Burns blends, all whisky is bottled as a single malt. Let us taste the 10 Year Old first, that has already been joined by a 12 and 14 Year Old.

The nose is soft and light. Loads of grain, oats in the lead, with a little fruit. Pineapple, peach and a bit of banana. Slightly metallic, too. A tiny bit of smoke. Young and clean, but fairly flat.

The attack is slightly prickly, semi creamy, feisty on spices. Liquorice and ginger front and center. Again primarily grains, that drown out the fruit. That fruit has evolved to apples and pears.

The finish offers little new and is medium long.

This is far from bad whisky, but Arran has more interesting stuff out there already.


When I first open new bottle of unknown whisky I seem to evaluate it worse than it appears later. Probably not so with this nice little Arran. I quite like it right after opening a bottle and making first sip. It's young spirit is potent and lively. With lots of fruits.

Nose: vanilla, coconut, melon, some milk chocolate Palate: lots of sweetness, citrus, baked apple, a bit of sherry, a bit of peat Finish: coffee beans, a bit of smoke


I bought this single malt on recommendation of Quebecwhisky.com, who included it in their "Christmas suggestions 2011" here: quebecwhisky.com/suggestions2011.shtml

Drunk neat. I tried adding water, and it drowned far too easily.

Nose: It smells so strongly of cider that I wondered if I had opened the wrong bottle. The background of oak and vanilla dispells any doubts however.

Palate: What the nose announced, the palate delivers. Fresh apples and pears, backed with a cool malt sweetness. Very light spice appear as the whisky warms up.

Finish: The only misstep appears here, with a slightly harsh wave hitting the back of my mouth. Luckily, it is transitory, and is replaced by light smoky peat and moderate burn.I tried getting the "wave" under control by dilution, but only ended up drowning the palate.

Balance: The slight harshness is the only spoiler in an otherwise good whiskey.

This is a very nice summer scotch. It is also one of the more affordable single malts in Québec (which unfortunately means "just under 50$"). It has a good, fresh taste that sits well with me, since I happen to love cider.

The important question for me is "Will I buy it again?" and I'm happy to say that this whiksy rates a very solid "Probably".


Nose: Some sherry notes,sweet and chewy,Cherries and vanilla, and some biscuits. On the sweeter side, and very nice.

Palate: Sweet with an alcohol kick on the start, malty, and very dough like, some wood also.

Finish: Short, with bitter wood.


Nose: Rich, sweet, succulent grape. The most clear, intense grape aroma I've ever experienced in a whisky. Close on its heels, a huge wave of black licorice. Marvelous.

Taste: Sweet, sappy, with thick licorice-flavoured malt. Very fruity again, with grape and cherry, but more bitter oak to balance. Also a slight salty note. Tastes a little "green," as others have noticed, but that's okay because this is one lively, vibrant malt.

Finish: Good length. Clean, and consistent with the flavour.

Balance: This is how I like a whisky to smell. Maybe a few more years will round out the flavour better, integrating the bitter, sweet, and salty notes. As it stands, it is a bit of a wild ride on the palate.


To be honest, I've been waiting that dram for about 3 months. Why, you ask? Well, in my familly we do a secret santa every year and we provide a list of the things we'd like to receive, and as a spirit enthusiast, I always put some whisky's and rums on there. And this year, instead of the usual blend, I had the Arran 10YO, as it is available for around our agreed upon price of 40CAD.

So, I refrained from purchasing it between the draw and christmas. Then, since our state owned liquor stores were out, I waited. BTW, I can surely attest that single malt scotch were a very popular Xmas gift last decembre.

Then last friday, voilà! It's back on the shelves. I bought one. I was ther to get soem Big Peat, but I guess that bottle will have to wait until my next paycheck...

The Arran 10yo is so very fruity on the nose. Sultana and some acetone notes, but not harsh. But, strong stuff! And indeed the bottle states 46% abv and non chill filtered (yeah!). The color is of a nice gold and the eau de vie Coats the glass pretty nicely: the legs are nice and take time to disappear.

Sharp and clean on the tongue. Nice sweetness on a good body. Wood and grapes again. Apple and sweet vanilla on a second sip. Yes that's it: It's like the best vanilla ice cream ever! And I use to work in an old school ice cream parlour, so I should know.

Prickly, I will add water to my Arran malt. Not too much changes, just maybe some light flowery notes and a more defined fruityness. This is good! There's definitely something bourbonesque in there. And cinnamon.

The finish is again white fruits with spices and stays with you until the next mouthful. Which could wait, but won't: the stuff is moorish. As in "I want moore".

As, a side notes, ! played master blender with it and some BeenRiach Arumaticus Fumosus, and: WOW! Though weird that it's the speysider that lends the peat to the islander here. It reminded me of a young talisker.

I also did try a 2 parts Arran w/ 1 part Arumaticus Fumosus and 1 part HP 12YO, and that one blew my socks off! I think it's the bourbon vanilla nature of the Arran that lends it it's fantastical blending potential.

This one is going into my "will buy again" list for sure. Can't wait to try the 14 YO!


Nose: Vanilla is what hits first, then some fruit (pear). It is not really complex, but the nose is quite enjoyable

Mouth: Vanilla continues to reign and pears are still present and spices start to appear after a few seconds.

Finish: Not really long, vanilla, pears and spice performing a quick fade out. The mouth becomes dry, maybe to say "I want some more!"...

A good everyday dram with a non-conventional taste making it a nice experience.


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.

@Victor - Tasmania is indeed going ahead in the production of whisky! Still a bit expensive with all the taxes imposed.

The 14 and the Sauternes are excellent indeed - haven't sampled any of the Amarone finish, but I keep coming back to the 10 year old, it's one of those handful of whiskies I'm happy to drink after a day of troubleshooting seemingly intractable problems where I do not want to engage my brain and do not really want to make a choice (and don't want to waste my good stuff on a crappy mood). Hasn't let me down yet.

There are so many expressions in the Arran range that I always felt like any choice could be the wrong choice. I just gave up on the brand, hoping one day I'd find an "Arran Sample Pack" of the various core expressions. Just the other day I found an expression from Arran that seemed like a sure winner - 11yr Sherry Single Cask bottled at cask strength! Oh yeah...

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