Category Archives: Arran

Arran 15-year-old (SMWS 121.66)

Bought: SMWS, 30th October 2015

93/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
86/100 – Whiskybase (average from 5 member votes)

My 3rd and final 10cl sample from the SMWS membership pack and I’m surprised and delighted to find it’s included in the Whisky Bible 2016. Not only that but the author, Jim Murray, scores it 93/100 which classifies it as “brilliant”. He describes the taste as “spectacular mouth feel: the softest of oils allows the salivating butterscotch and barley to do its thing” and summarises with “the way in which it keeps its sweetness in such delicate voice is a thing of wonder”.

86/100 on Whiskybase is also a very good score. The society entitle this dram “Foamy strawberries in a cigar box” with tasting notes of “sugary cola bottles, crème Anglaise and raspberry jam. Deeper resonances of cedar, cigar boxes, putty, mint and menthol cigarettes. Luxurious, strawberry sweetness; custard donuts, banoffee pie and menthol cough candies.” Completely over-the-top description as usual but clearly it must be worth it, especially if Jim Murray thinks it’s brilliant!

Here’s a quick video on the origins of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society:

Arran 15yo SMWS 121.66 10cl

Arran 1996 17-year-old

Bought: Malts of Scotland (now Bartels Whisky), 27th May 2015

85/100 – Serge Valentin of Whiskyfun
– Also listed on Whiskybase here.

In early April 2015 the independent bottler ‘Malts of Scotland’ offered 3 different malts for £40 each and free postage. I chose the Tomatin 19yo but I saved the link just in case I was able to afford one of the others in the future. By the end of May only the Arran remained so I got that too. Back came an email from ‘Malts of Scotland’ asking me how I’d managed to buy the bottle at the reduced rate. Clearly the offer had ended but they’d forgotten to ask their IT person to remove the web page. Thankfully they were happy to honour the deal, which is unusually good for this day and age. Details from the website about this bottle of Arran are:

Nose: Sweet floral notes and a hint of mint. Apple slices, apricot and yoghurt.
Palate: Rich and slightly creamy. Tropical fruit (dried pineapple coming thorough) Peach. Some oak.
Finish: Good length, full with some oaky spice and the dried fruits again – pineapple.

Arran distillery only uses traditional methods of distilling with wooden washbacks and copper stills, designed to exact specifications. All their whiskies are non-chill filtered which means they are natural in pigment. A perfectly matured single malt scotch whisky.”

Arran 1996 17yo 70cl

Arran Amarone Cask Finish

Bought – Whisky Exchange, 23rd April 2014

94.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
84/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 3 reviews)

I wanted to drink my one-and-only bottle of Arran, so the hunt was on to find its distillery replacement to keep my collection of every distillery intact. I have the 10-year-old, which Jim Murray scores a respectable 87/100 in his Whisky Bible. I wanted something better, which led me to this Amarone Cask Finish. Not quite cask strength but at 50%, natural colour and non-chill filtered, it sounds very nice indeed!

94.5/100 in the Whisky Bible classifies this single malt as a “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live.” Jim Murray says of the taste “the grape is juicy and sweet, the barley is firm and forms the perfect skeleton, the spices pop busily around the palate. No great age evident, but the oak also chimes in with a few choice cocoa notes.” He concludes with “as cask finishes go, this one is just about perfect.”

Here are Scotch 4 Dummies with their review on You Tube (December 2015):

Arran Amarone Cask Finish 70cl

Arran 10-year-old

Bought – Drink Supermarket (online), 28th July 2013

87/100 – Whisky Bible 2013
89/100 – Ralfy, of
Review: – Ralfy – Arran 10yo – YouTube

Arran 10yo 5cl