Arran, 17yo 1996 Whisky Broker
(Refill hogshead 1482, Distilled 4/10/96, Bottled 6/4/14, 54.0%)
Arran started production in 1995, so we’re only now starting to see these 17/18-year-old bottles. The official 18yo has only had a limited-edition release so far, but there are plenty of indie releases knocking about, and they seem dependably good. Despite it’s geographical location I tend to think of Arran’s style as being more Speyside than Island – we’re a million miles away from Talisker for sure – but we all know the whisky regionality thing is a bit suss.
Nose: It’s all vanilla, fudge and milky coffee on first pouring, but add a bit of water (and it needs it at 54%) and masses of fruitiness develops. Red apples, plums, cherries. There’s also a slight maritime hint in the background.
Taste: As the nose suggests: sweet and fruity. Fudge again, toffee apple, baked apple, a little orange. Soft spiciness starts to develop too…
Finish: …and comes to the fore in the aftertaste. Dried ginger, nutmeg, a touch of pepper. There’s subtle saltiness too. The vanilla and coffee from the nose are still knocking around, and a definite tinned pear note. S’nice!
Solid Arran, if not a truly stellar example. The apple that runs through it actually brings to mind a decent Glenlivet, but then you do also get little reminders that this is a whisky made by the sea.