Whisky Review – Arran 18 year old

Arran 18 year old
46% ABV
Non-Chill Filtered
No added colouring
£70.65 from Master of Malt
The trilogy is now complete. After the 16 and 17 year old’s sure enough, here is the 18 year old. I have high hopes for this one, I’ve loved the build up. The 17 is reviewed here. Now let’s get on with the 18.
Thick caramel infused biscuity malt greets on first sniff after pouring. Quickly changing to Gingerbread. Soaked raisins and more autumnal fruits follow forward after a few minutes in the glass. Some sweet blackcurrant jam. A little pepper. Touches of cherry and sweet fruitcake. With a little more settling down time we have even more intensive fruit, and a little dusting of age. Beautifully complex, fruity and mouth watering nose. 
The arrival is quite spicy and vibrant, some raw ginger and pepper with a touch of chilli heat. This soon calms into a long development, with waves of vanilla, sponge cake, fruity berry jams, dry fruits, creamy custard notes and a thick texture. This is one to keep in the mouth for a good while as it really evolves, with the spices coming to and fro and the fruit and cream getting thicker and more relaxed with each wave. Lush.
Spicy dry ginger and malty biscuit cakes! Medium to long length. Fruit and spice gradually subsides with a creamy sideline. Gentle and refined. 
Adding water.
Just a minuscule drop added as this is quite the experience without water. The nose has lost a lot of the spice now and the buttery, creamy nature is coming forward on the nose immediately. The palate reflects this, less bite and more smooth, creamy goodness. The finish is slightly shortened and again creamy malt is the main theme.  Personally I like this one without water to give some variation and a little more interesting complexity. If you find this a little spicy though a drop or two will calm it down. 
Well,  good whisky is worth the wait, and this is no exception. A fantastically well constructed, complex, compelling, intriguing and fulfilling dram.  I’m loving every drop. Happy to have already obtained some for later enjoyment and splitting a bottle with friends. You can’t go wrong.  Top stuff, traditionally made and the quality and care of attention shines through. 
Much thanks to Arran for the review sample.