Water of Life - Arran
Arran is not exactly one of the oldest island distilleries – having been around for less than three decades and based at Lochranza - that most prominently has become known for their beautiful and good value 10-Year-Old expression, whose distinct alveolar character and maturation in a mix of ex-bourbon and sherry casks has become somewhat of a trademark for the brand.
With herbs, citrussy and biscuity aromas hitting the nose, the scene is set for the pineapple sweetness that further unfolds on the roof of the mouth, culminating in a herby, sharp fruity high before a slightly bitter malty finish with a nice hint of sea air.
The 10-Year-Old is not overly complex but certainly an honest, accessible and robust quality dram for any scotch connoisseur that is looking for a vibrant light, golden coloured unchillfiltered warm weather malt. A nice dram with a dry finish which is ideal to ease into an evening of whisky delights.
Arran Whisky’s Robert Burns Single Malt is another beauty playing in a similar league. Matured in a mix of 70% Bourbon Casks and 30% Sherry Casks, this light lightly golden aromatic Single Malt is ideal for sipping either as an aperitif or – and not a whole lot of whiskies lent themselves for this - during a meal.
It smells like banana meeting stewed fruits that have been marinated in a spicy pot of custard with an oaky smoky back note. Sounds confusing? Try it and it will instantaneously make sense.
What materializes with this chill filtered well put together expression on your tastbuds is even spicier, zingy and rests on a bed of vanilla, which sets the scene for the long and smoooth finish with its lingering oak and under-ripe fruit character.
Now, let’s step it up a notch, shall we?
The Arran 18-Year-Old, which is bottled at 46%, takes things to the next level when it comes to complexity and elegance. On the nose, the fresh, sharp apple flavours are accentuated by the addition of lemony nuances, savoury notes and milk chocolate and rest on a foundation of salty barley-ness.
The roof of the mouth is tickled by the 18 Year Old’s oaky spiciness, a complex melange of lemon, cinnamon, aniseed, sweet / sour and citrus notes and an elongated creamy finish that is amplified by bitter tannins, toasted oak and malt in the back.
This is a deep one full of character and flavour whose texture has grit yet also a pleasant oil character that leaves me smacking my lips.