Single malt whisky - tasting notes

20 Aug 2010

Arran 14 Years old

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Arran

Arran Sauternes finish The Arran Malt recently announced some revisions of its range. First of all, there’s this new Arran 14 Years old which will take the place of the 12yo as the oldest whisky in the core range. Then there’s a limited 15th Anniversary Edition and a consolidation of the finishing experiments in three wine finishes at 50% (Port, Amarone and Sauternes – pictured to the right).

Establishing a new distillery is a tough job and the 14 Years old can be seen as a milestone for Arran. They’re now able to provide products in a slightly higher market segment and they can start making profit. On the long-term plan, the core range would be 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.

 

Arran 14 years Arran 14 yo (46%, OB 2010)

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.

The Arran 14yo is a balanced dram with a natural profile. It takes the distillery character to a higher level, and I’m sure we can expect even nicer results from this distillery as their spirit matures further. Around € 45 and arriving in shops as we speak.

Score: 85/100

Arran 14 Years old 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2010-08-20
  • http://whiskyisrael.co.il gal g

    well by the sound of it, i need a bottle of this…
    nice!

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    It’s really well-made. A ‘naked’ whisky with lots of qualities, which is nice in today’s climate of experimentation.

  • http://danishwhiskyblog.blogspot.com/ Steffen Bräuner

    Great review Ruben, I will look out for this, as I am Peacock fan. The ABV is an example to follow for other OB’s

    /Macdeffe

  • http://guidscotchdrink.com Jason JY

    I was just about to say they got the ABV right but, of course, Steffen beat me to it!

    I have the Anniversary bottling heading my way right now but it’s only an 11 Year Old. Kind of wishing I’d bought this instead now that I see the comparison to Peacock.

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  • WhiskyNotes: It says 'single cask Scotch whisky' on the label, so yes, technically it can even contain a bit of Girvan grain. Not that it matters a lot though.
  • kallaskander: Hi there, could be a teaspooned blenders cask... technically not a single malt then.... that seems more probable than letting an IB bring out the fir
  • Glenn Vanbellingen: If you put the 12 y origin at 40% head to head with the 12 y origin 46% you see it immediately or better you taste it immediately.

Coming up

  • Ardbeg 1972 (Douglas Laing OMC)
  • Jura 1972 SMWS 31.4
  • Balblair 2002
  • Kavalan Solist sherry (for LMdW)
  • Tullibardine 1980 (Malts of Scotland)
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1578 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.