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The Arran 14 Year Old is the successor to the 12 Year Old, which in turn followed up the 10 Year Old. That is how it goes with young distilleries. Since 2010, this is their flagship. It matured for 12 years in bourbon barrels, before being re-racked into both fresh bourbon barrels and fresh sherry hogsheads for the remaining two years.
Ah, those two extra years (and the sherry casks in the mix) have done wonders for this nose. It is a lot fresher than its younger brother and shows a lot more fruit. I get white fruit, apricots, peach and sultanas. A bit of potpourri as well. Freshly cut grass. Honey and some vanilla make it very sweet. Give it another five minutes and you will even get a hefty helping of marzipan. This is very good.
It is creamy on the palate, starting on breakfast cereals and liquorice, before you are handed a wonderful basket of fruits. Limes, oranges, apples, pears and some pineapple. Lots of vanilla. Big oak countering the whole, making this Arran well balanced. Good!
In the finish, that is medium in length, the spices clamour for attention. Is that a salty twist at the death?
This is a very good Arran, putting the younger version in its shadow with one hand tied behind its back. Tasteful, complex and creamy. What more could you ask for?