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Arran 14 Year Old

So Creamy . . .

3 989

@RianCReview by @RianC

28th Oct 2017

0

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    89

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Was a big fan of the 10 when I had a bottle last year and was able to try the 14 at a festival early last month and was impressed. This is from my own bottle opened just over a week and down to the neck. For those that don't know, Arran is a fairly new distillery, by Scottish terms, and the only one on the Isle of Arran which sits between Campbeltown and the mainland.

These notes are without water but glass has stood for 30 mins or so.

On the nose it's immediately fruity; fresh fruits like apple, pineapple and I am reminded of freshly cut guava - which isn't a fruit I get to eat a lot it must be said. Definite tropical fruits going on. There's also some soft wood spices, clove and cardamom, and a heavy dose of creamy vanilla. With time a slight pleasant musty note starts to make itself known.

Taste wise it seems more salty than the nose suggested and the fruits are still present but with a grassy almost white wine or slightly wine vinegar note but pleasantly so, as if the fruits are starting to over ripen. Sweet then turning sour. The vanilla cream note starts to develop and keeps going.

Finish is medium to long with lots more of that vanilla cream and a slightly sour tannic note. Seems as if a tiny hint of dry fruit comes out right at the end.

This is very good and I am having to put the bottle back on the shelf after a pour as it is extremely drinkable, much as I found the 10, yet more rewarding. For someone who gravitates to more peated or Highland styles, 'per se', this is such a nice change and the fresh, tropical fruit notes are quite identifiable with and, it seems, unique to this distillery.

Just finishing my last sip and will add that there is a bit of salt that lingers on the finish as well. Just a hint. Just enough to make you want that fresh, juicy fruit to sweeten things up again . . .

Related Arran reviews

9 comments

Taco commented

A really good scotch for the price ($65). Can't seem to keep it around long enough to see how it improves with air. Really drinkable! Not a great whisky, but really tasty and "moreish".

11 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

I paid about £43 on-line and feel that's very good value. $65 US seems decent as well.

11 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@RianC, thanks for a very nice review. I am a very big fan of Arran 14 yo. I would rate what I have tasted of Isle of Arran 14 yo even higher than you have, probably 92 points.

11 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@Victor - Thank you! I can see why, it's a very enjoyable whisky. Given I scored Ardbeg a 90 I felt 89 was about right; but 92 for Ardbeg wouldn't have been overly generous, mind . . .

It does make me think that there must be some hidden Speyside(?) gems that offer similar fruity notes that I've not tried? I'm not a fan of pear notes in whisky and find a lot of Speysides I've tried have this, or it appears in tasting notes I come across, so puts me off a bit.

Any suggestions most welcome relaxed

11 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@RianC, Speyside whisky with guava? Hhhmmmm...that actually sounds to me like Cardhu. Cardhu polarises. Some like it a lot. Others dislike it intensely. I like Cardhu 12, but I can see how the delicate balance could be lost if the batch is off.

No real guava, but in the category of "under-reported Speyside gems" I would place anything from the Linkwood distillery. I've never tasted the standard 12 yo, but all of the earlier period Linkwoods I've tried have been great. It's neutral malty whisky. No big peat. No big wine. You might try the standard 12 yo or one of the Independent Bottlings. I think that the Linkwood malt is what makes Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 yo blended malt so good.

11 months ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

Been looking at a Linkwood recently as it happens, a Flora and Fauna bottling! I am a fan of the Green Label as well so will be adding this to the wish list. Thanks!

You sometimes see the Cardhu in supermarkets here so will keep an aye out for if it's ever on offer . . .

11 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@RianC I am one of those @Victor mentions who isn’t a huge Cardhu fan. To be fair, I’ve only had their 12. I found it quite ordinary, even somewhat below average. Going from memory, I’d probably rate it about 83/100. Not bad, but there’s better scotch in that price bracket. Arran is hard to find here in Ontario, but it’s on my shortlist. Thanks for the review.

11 months ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

This is 1 of my 2 favorite whiskies. I absolutely love Arran 14. I always get some apricot that stands out to me the most. Glad to see a positive review of this stuff. Arran is young but they know their stuff. I have an 18yo limited edition at home waiting on a special occasion.

11 months ago 0

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