This new Arran 1996 from Malts of Scotland was matured in a sherry butt for almost 18 years, but its colour indicates it’s not the usual Oloroso / PX influence. The same bottler already released a similar cask last year (ref. 13002).
Arran 17 yo 1996
(54,9%, Malts of Scotland 2014, sherry butt, ref. 14029, 612 btl.)
Nose: fresh but quite discreet at first, in the sense that you get grains and acacia honey at first, not much more. After a while there’s a lot of apple, some vanilla and soft spices. The best part is a nice grapefruit / mint combo. Pretty naked, with a chalky / waxy edge. A Fino butt?
Mouth: more intense: fruitier (lemon, grapefruit, apple peel) and spicier at the same time (ginger, pepper, clove). Lemon sherbet and green tea. Bittersweet but also a little dry at some point (sawdust).
Finish: long, surprisingly floral, with the omnipresent apples, a little honey and lemon zest.
A fairly neutral Arran, a bit of a Lowlands version. Is it me, or are the best Arrans bottled by the distillery these days? Around € 75.