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 . . .
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".