Still working our way through the latest batch of Master of Malt releases.
Arran 16 yo 1996 (55,4%, Master of Malt 2012, refill sherry hogshead, 218 btl.)
Nose: a lot of vanilla and honey. Banana milkshake. Some butter. Baked apple. A hint of pepper. Not bad at all.
Mouth: very malty with a lot of ginger and pepper, up to the point where it gets too much. Liquorice. Grows really bitter, with lots of grapefruit, lemon zest and Seville oranges. A soapy edge as well (it’s a fine line between lemon and lemon soap sometimes).
Finish: medium long, the grainy sharpness remains, with the bitterness, cloves and pepper.
This one shows too much pepper and grainy sharpness to make for a balanced dram. There’s better Arran to be found, maybe this one was chosen for showing an uncommon character. Around € 60. There’s a new Arran 16 yo by Master of Malt by the way (53,9%) which looks more promising.