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Arran 14 Year Old

Average score from 12 reviews and 32 ratings 86

Arran 14 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Arran
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 14 year old

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@RianC
Arran 14 Year Old

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 . . .

@casualtorture I love this stuff. Bought it on @Victor's recommendation.

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".

@casualtorture

Lots of vanilla on the nose with some fruity apricot and grass.

Taste is smooth and sweet, mouthfeel is light and slightly slick with oil. Apricot stands out the most, lots of apricot, with some vanilla and lastly a nice sea spray. It reminds me of walking out on an old dock with sea mist spraying my face while eating an apricot. Finish is wet and sweet. Absolutely delicious dram. Complex, fruity, great flavor transitions.

I think your Ardbeg 10 review is right on, but you seem to be an outlier on the Arran 14 @casualtorture. If I throw out the high score (yours) and the low score, the average is 85. Half a dozen of connosr's most credible reviewers put this one in the mid to high 80s. These reviews are, of course, quite subjective and I'm glad you find something more appealing than most about this Arran.

Cheers.

@BlueNote you may be right, but this is by far the best single malt I have had. Keep in mind that I am a relatively new scotch drinker, only about 2 years. I'm sure my palate needs evolving. I'm not an expert on this by any means. So I have only tried around 10 or 15 different bottles, but this one definitely stands out to me as the best of what I have had. By far.

@Uisgebetha

Nicely presented and quite stylish packaging if not exactly eye-catching. The dram is a pleasant golden colour in a glen cairn glass.

Lots of vanilla (maybe a bit too much) on the nose, accompanied by hints of cinnamon, lavender, apricots and sultanas. Very pleasantly weighted in the mouth, medium bodied and a touch oily, smooth, but with a bit of attack. Vanilla is prominent among the flavours, but is less dominant that it is on the nose, some malt helps to balance it and minor flavour hints of cinnamon, cocoa and smoke keeps things interesting for a little while.

The finish is spicy and has some additional sweetness which was not evident before, not very long but a good end.

Nothing to object to in this dram, some class in places. I certainly found it very enjoyable company on a wet and windy autumnal Sunday afternoon.

Nice review, and I agree with your score...A great whisky for those of us who enjoy the 'sweeter' honeyed/vanilla single malts.

I also had the 10 yr to which I was indifferent to (personally I feel the 14 yr Arran is considerably better)...Maybe I should give that one another chance?

I've not tried a recent bottling of the 10 year old so I don't know how it would compare to the current 14. I'm just a fan of this distillery and love the rich flavours they get in their whisky.

I'm looking forward to sampling the new (older) expressions, when I next get an opportunity to order in.

@Pandemonium

Over the past year I've found a renewed fondness for the orange-nosed younglings of the Southern Hebrides, Jura and Arran.

The Arran 14 was launched in 2010 and was their oldest expression until the release of a 17yo,earlier this year.I haven't had the opportunity yet to try this new expression. But at least for now, the older=better saying seems to apply to the Arran range, with the 14yo outclassing the rest.

Colour: straw gold

Nose: the 4Fs: fresh, fruity, floral and fairly complex Underlying tones of a fruit hamper: scents from oranges, bananas, pineapple, peaches, raspberries, butter apples. But this is no overly fruity malt, the floral notes and the vanilla tone it down, making it more creamy: with soft hints of vanilla, mint, honey and whiffs of freshly cut grass. In the background some salty liquorice is lingering with hints of oak.

Mouth: a base of citrus notes, toffee, sea salt , with a touch of honey and various spices: ginger, cinnamon and clove.

Finish: rather long, slightly bitter and drying, spicy with black pepper, cinnamon and a touch of salt. Slightly briny, beyond the spicy facade there are notes of shortbread, oak, nutmeg, vanilla with underlying notes of tangerine.

Conclusion, just as with the Juras a strong and complex fruity nose, a bit flat on the palate, but a strong finale. An easy light and fruity sipper for a warm summer's day.

@vanPelt

My 5th Arran review, after the Original, the 10yo, the Amarone, and an IB. Overall the 14yo falls only behind the IB.

First vapor: Floral and grass; the sweet scent of walking into a florist's greenhouse.

Nose: That Arran grass & vanilla on unsalted butter. But this time there is nectarine added. A bit of breathing reveals walnut-- and the faintest banana blending with the butter.

Palate: Splendid creamy nut, like walnut milk. The nose's nectarine shows more citrus tang, unfortunately. The creamy walnut builds up, with stronger vanilla oak and hefty walnut shell-- some tingly sour/bitter. Into the finish, pear pulp and malt develop.

Finish: Oaky nutmeg with vanilla, and a touch of yeasty malt. Becoming slightly sour.

The "Original" expresses the basic tone of vanilla, grass, and nutmeg. To this, the 10yo added "salty butter apple", whereas this 14yo instead adds "walnut nectarine". Choosing between the 10 and 14 would depend on the mood of course, but all-in-all I would prefer the 14. And it still satisfies as a light dram, even though it is not as light as the younger versions.

I would rate it fairly high within an "oaky with light fruit" range, quite close to Glenlivet's Nadurra. For my tastes: Balvenie Double Woods < Glenfiddich Rich Oak < Arran 14 < Glenlivet Nadurra < Auchentoshan Three Wood. Incidentally, the Arran is excellent value.

@WhiskyBee

Pardon the awful pun in the title of this review (just be glad I didn’t go with “I’ve got a Hank Arran for this stuff!”), but it sums up many of the elements I find in this excellent dram. Loaded with grassy textures (earth), peppery spices (fire), summery lightness (air), and coastal freshness (water), Arran 14 year old ranks alongside Highland Park as a fine, if sweeter, all-rounder. It’s light but complex, so it lends itself to both casual and thoughtful sipping.

Nose: One of the more ever-evolving noses I’ve experienced. Each hearty whiff reveals something new, just as pleasant as what came before. Malt, apples, and pears emerge at first, along with some grainy textures – I might have guessed this was a blend if nosing it blind, but the grain soon vanishes. A fruit bouquet then emerges, dominated by canned cling peaches. Traces of peat here and there. A couple of drops of water and a 10-minute sit reveal honey, vanilla, caramel, and a hint of Junior Mint candies. Finally, the earthy elements – grass, wood, flowers – arrive and add a full-rounded depth. Yet for all its complexity, there’s an easy mildness to it all. I don’t know that I’ve ever nosed a whisky so simultaneously light and layered.

Palate: A slight letdown after the promise suggested by the nose. It’s pleasant, but some salt and tannins have rudely crashed the fruit-and-spice party. Tastes like it so desperately wants to be sweet and smooth, but the acid and tartness just won’t get out of the way. The good qualities win in the end, but it was a struggle.

The finish is superb and nearly redeems all negative elements. It’s fresh and light, yet long-lasting and loaded with as many elements as on the nose: brine, cinnamon, pepper, malt, berry fruits, shortbread cookies, and a brief return of the peat.

The overall experience may sag a bit in the middle, but you couldn’t ask for a better beginning and ending. The thoughtfulness in creating Arran 14 shines through, although don’t ask me to explain and interpret the confusing and conflicting information I encountered while researching it. (Suffice to say that American bourbon and European sherry casks were used to good effect.) Despite its minor shortcomings, I can’t imagine a malt lover not appreciating such a unique combination of layers and lightness. It’s been called a summertime dram, but it tastes pretty good on this snowy February evening.

Awesome write up! This one is already on my wishlist...just hoping it makes a re-appearance at the LCBO soon. I haven't tried this one yet, but another one that might fit the light (triple distilled) yet complex profile for people is the Hazelburn 8 yo that is the most recent review on my profile (sorry, for some reason I can't copy/paste the link to this note at the moment).

@Pudge72 - thanks for the kind words. Here's the link to your Hazelburn review:

connosr.com/reviews/hazelburn/…

...to which I added a few comments.

@markjedi1

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?

@talexander

Arran is a relatively new distillery, founded in 1993. Besides its single malts, it also crafts the Robert Burns blends (his birthplace, Alloway, lies across the water), which I've never tried. I believe it is the only distillery on the island (though of course there used to be many more). The 14 Year Old is non chill filtered and of natural colour, which is very similar to honey.

On the nose I first get banana and ripe fruit, then malt, damp hay and, underlining everything, oak. Water brings out some brine.

It has a creamy mouthfeel (creamier with water), also with a fair amount of oak as well as nutmeg. There is a sweetness to the taste which is very pleasant.

The finish is also oaky and mouth drying, which some water added alleviates. This malt is very rich, nicely balanced between salty and spicy elements, with sweetness brought forth from the oak. You can tell this sat in a barrel for fourteen years, as the oak becomes more prevalent the more I drink. The brine tells you that it comes from an island as well - I love how this whisky tells you its story. But I do wish there was something a little more distinctive about it.

@cclward

Nose: Zesty fresh lemon , floral notes , Tropical. Taste : Fresh and inviting , Sweet honey cream character with zesty citrus attributes , soft spice , corriander. Finish : Buttery , A wave of Zest & Spice, i get a cross between bee's wax and coconut flakes. Overall , for a young distillery Arran has certainly become an exciting addition to any collector's cabinet , they certainly push the envelope with experimentation and enthusiasm. This is my favorite Arran malt.

@galg

This one was finished in fresh bourbon and sherry hogsheads for two years before it was bottled. The result is a sweet and fruity dram. Now for the notes:

Nose: Tropical fruits galore, strong balsamic on teh nose too. After 5 minutes of letting it rest in the glass, all that balsamic is gone, and we get some lovely apples, barley, wood. Wonderful nose,. the best nose yet! (this evening). we like!

Palate: Sweet and lovely : Vanilla, apples, spice, white pepper.

Finish: Medium. Biscuity, and sugary, with spices. Lovely

Bottom line:

Now we’re getting there, a lovely malt from arran. Well made, terrific nose and palate, and a great finish.Classic stuff. this shows great promise for older Arrans.

@WTC

This whisky represents the islands in our regions of scotland tasting.

Dominic Roskrow's notes: "Nose: Buttery and light, floral with touches of summer meadow, some lemon. Palate: Fresh and vibrant, with vanilla, lemon, grapefruit and menthol. There's a smattering of late pepper dust. Finish: Medium, clean, fresh and spicy".

Dominic visited Arran over the summer, his blog is here thewhiskytastingclub.co.uk/Blogs/domblog/…

other club member comments "Much spicier than the 12 but still lovely. Finish never descends into bitterness." "A whisky that keeps giving. Loooooooong!" "Nose: esters / pear drops and bananas but leave it in the glass for 30 mins and it turns more creamy" "If you liked the previous expressions you will like this. I thought it better than the 12 year old, more like a grown up version of the 10 year old."

@WhiskyNotes

Arran distillery is only 15 years old, so a 14 year old can be seen as a milestone. On the long term, the core range should consist of a 10, 14 and 18 year old.

The 14 Year Old was re-racked into fresh bourbon barrels and fresh sherry hogsheads two years ago – two-thirds into American oak and one-third into European oak. They wanted the classic Arran sweet-fruity notes to shine through with the sherry very much in the background for depth and balance.

Nose: starts malty and clean but quickly there’s a burst of fresh fruits: citrus, peaches, caramelized apples, some melon and berries. Nice hints of buttercups in the background. Hints of sweet oak with whiffs of vanilla and coconut as well. Cleaner than the 12yo, very rounded and really nice. There’s a nice interplay between sherry and bourbon influence (reminiscent of the Arran Peacock). It doesn’t need water, but a few drops make the citrus stand out.

Mouth: creamy attack, initially less sweet than I thought it would be. Also more oak than expected. Malty centre with hints of citrus and pears. Obvious vanilla. Developing more spicy notes towards the end, nutmeg and light pepper.

Finish: medium length, slightly biscuity with barley sugar and lingering spices.

I've never been a big fan of the Arran wine finishes, but lately they've been releasing some very interesting naked whisky. First Arran Peacock, now this one... Where will they stand in another 15 years?

This is a great whisky, I really enjoyed the light fruity flavours with a very clean finish. It will be really interesting to see the 18 year come out.

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