Arran 16 year – Old Malt Cask
No added colouring
Available for £100 From the Whisky Shop
Sweetness and spice on first sniff. Lots of confectionary sugar and sweet shops. Lemon oil. Sherbert. Hints of vanilla. Cracked black pepper. Some fresh ginger. Some sweet liquorice. Touches of mint. A little sage. Some green pine. It gets more herbal, with a greater oak presence as time goes by. More time in the glass and the sweet shop sweetness comes back in the forefront. More time and we have elements of milk chocolate.
Sweet arrival, with some chilli and ginger spice interwoven around the sweet icing sugar, citrus juices and root liquorice. There are some similar herbal elements as with the nose. Touches of cress and hay. With added time and sips, some chocolate comes forward, fry’s chocolate cream bars. Some spiced caramel. A very complex and challenging palate.
Medium to long length. Some spicy liquorice, ginger and green peppers initially with a little saccharine. Some drying oak. The sweet sugar and herbal notes hang around for a very long time in the back of the mouth.
Few drops added. The nose is richer, sweeter. Lots of thick honey and toffee now. The sugar has lost the lightness and really developed into a boiled up thick syrup dram. Spices are lighter, it’s more about the thick sugary treats. The palate is very rich, sweet, fattening, chocolate, caramel, honey, some herbal elements remain right in the background. The finish, again, sweet as, and longer. With some drying out oak and herbal greens. Sage and cress again. A few more drops of water and some more time in the glass and we have more herbal elements in the forefront again. The palate becomes something extra special with the herbal elements back and intermingling with the rich sweetness. Ever changing and so complex.
A good, solid and complex Arran. Very sweet initially but has some herbal and spicy complexity which makes this a dram to spend a lot of time overs not the dram for a beginner. This needs time, patience and work. Spend lots of time over this whisky and it will reward you in droves.
Thanks to the Whisky Shop’s W club for providing the sample.