I'm writing a follow-up/revision to my earlier review, because I have such a different experience on later tasting after purchasing my own bottle. It is now clear that the day's warmer temperature had been responsible for bringing out the more savory notes in the earlier tasting. I now understand the difference of just a few degrees-- live and learn! Back at "normal" cooler temperatures, the whisky has quite different character-- very mellow and light, and less savory. Since I am unable to edit my earlier entry, I am writing an update in a new entry.
Nose: Vanilla; behind it, a little rosewater and strawberry. Deeper breaths give some custard and let me know some toffee is coming.
Palate: Vanilla and honey; toffee. Thinner (less creamy in consistency) than others I've had.
Finish: Continuation of the palate flavors; egg nog spices of nutmeg. Medium length finish, maybe half a minute
Obviously this is very different from my first assessment. At cooler temperatures this reminds of hard egg nog without the creamy consistency. Refreshing and balanced for those evenings when I might not want something very deep but just very enjoyable. I am still happy with the purchase, and actually I have no change to the score.
Okay cool. I haven't controlled mine identically either (very hard to do) however I do try to maintain a fill level (in whatever container size) of 2/3 to 4/5. Usually sampling from a 250ml bottle though which by about the 6 month mark is down to about 2/3 or 1/5 so that's pretty much the limit of my reviews. I try not to open the bottle in between reviews to limit fresh air exposure / vapour exchange.
As people drink at different rates, it's hard to say what a reasonable fill level would or should be after 6 or 12 months. But to at least given an indication, I provide the fill level at each review point and the length of time at that fill level.
And going further on a tangent now - hopefully from all that, some kind of "formula" might be derived to describe the total "oxidation" factor at any given time point. At least that's something I'm working on, but so far I'm finding it's hard to come up with a measure that is easy to interpret e.g. should it be whisky/air ratio over time? or air/whisky ratio over time? How about summarising to one number expressed as "oxidative weeks"? Yeah. Probably over-thinking it but thought I'd share anyway.
My various re-reviewed malts have not been identically controlled (except for all being stored in a cool basement, and with air atmosphere-- no vacuum or argon etc.). In some cases, I saved samples in small vials; but in this particular case of the Arran Original, it was a bottle, and about 1/2 full.
I would be concerned if the remaining spirit was a very low fraction of the container size (because ethanol could evaporate), or if the air fraction was very low (because oxidation would be limited). But I can at least say they were all 25%-75%; So I think they reasonably indicate how ("in which direction") you might expect the malt to evolve... even if the rates have been different.