Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
First vapor: Pumpernickel date bread.
Nose: Rubber at first: rubbery cocoa, rubbery walnut oil. A faint sense of a next-day glass of merlot (which can share that rubberiness), and perhaps liquorice root. Otherwise quite light at first. Warming in the hand brings stewed raspberry to this rubbery mix.
Palate: Entrance of salty caramel, rubber and walnut. This main theme is delightfully flavorful. Building up the base, along with these other flavors, is something a bit tough to pull out: some good juicy blackberry. Midpalate, gives tannic wood-influenced dark chocolate and dry sour cherry. Oaky walnut follows through.
Finish: Walnut oil, with white pepper in the back of the tongue and some tannic drying on the sides.
I bought this because I've found quality malts from Arran, and because an Amarone finish sounded appealing. It is not like other Arrans I've had, being rather rubbery and woody-- I wonder whether these notes come from the Amarone or earlier maturation. In any case, the nose and finish are not my style, and the overall woody oak-like influence it more than I would like. The best part is that wonderful palate entrance, which is well-balanced and juicy.
The closest malt that comes to mind is probably Glenfiddich 15. The Arran entrance is stronger (due to 50% ABV) whereas the 'fiddich was overall more watery. Nevertheless I think I prefer the latter for its less dry & less woody flavor set.