The Arran Malt (10 year)

Isle of Arran is a relative youngster on the single malt scene. A private venture, the distillery began turning out malt in 1995. Like all young distilleries, they had to pay the bills with releases of young whisky at high prices, none of which met with much critical success. However, when their malt hit the age of 10, the distillery began to see some recognition in the form of awards. Arran has followed up its younger releases with a rash of second-maturation expressions (finishes) that rival Glenmorangie and Springbank put together: Moscatel, Marsala (really?), rum, Champagne, and so on. The distillery standard 10-year, however, is a boring old vatting of ex-bourbon and (at a slightly smaller proportion) sherry. Like a good independent distillery with a free spirit (see what I did there?), Arran bottles all of its malts without chill-filtration, and without adding any coloring. They also bottle everything (except cask-strength releases) at a respectable 46% ABV. The 10 year-old has been made without the use of peat, although some peat is likely present naturally in the water.

Nose: Green apple. Light raisins. Tart raspberry. Pomegranate. Intriguing set of fruits on the nose – good tartness and nice, if light, complexity.

Palate: Creamy! Nice texture. Tartness. Some dried citrus notes – remind me of The Dalmore. There’s a good bit of complexity on the tongue, where some malts just get washed out by the alcohol.

Finish: Orange peel. Not bitter! On the short side. Some warm cereal sugars.

With Water: Sweeter on the nose, more malt sugar, but some oaky bitterness appears on the finish.

Overall: Great value! You could do a lot worse with $45. The mature lack of bitterness plus interesting tartness in the nose and on the palate is a winning combination. This is the sort of malt that you’ll try as a novelty, and then come back to for its quality. Score another one for the little independent distilleries!

The Arran Malt (10 year)
46% ABV
ScotchNoob™ Mark:
Price Range: $45
Acquired: (1/4 oz pour) K&L Spirits Tasting
Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , ,
7 Comments

7 Responses to The Arran Malt (10 year)

  1. Jordan says:

    One of my favorite everyday whiskies. If you can find their gift pack, it also comes with a couple of pretty solid tasting glasses.

  2. Excellent review. Your tasting notes are spot on. This one has good flavor density and complexity for its age. This distillery is showing great potential.

  3. KevinO says:

    Picked this one up last night based on your positive review and because it was on sale! I also fully agree with your tasting notes. It’s sweetness really hit me on the first taste with the flavor complexity emerging after that. Quite a change from the peated ones I’d been enjoying.

  4. Tim Ferguson says:

    I think I found a new favorite. I’m a big Speyside fan so I really enjoyed the sweat honey taste and the fruity nose but I wasn’t picking up the spicy finish I thought it finished sweeter more like carmel, I’m an amature though,,,sooooo. But definetly a smooth scotch.

  5. Garret says:

    Got this as a sample bottle, so clean and crisp with a slight smoke on the palate lighter than the one on highland park and oban but it is there. I also recommend this and will be procuring a bottle asap.

    • Garret says:

      I am trying to find a starter Islay but i dont think i am ready for the bum rush that is laphroaig or lagavulin and advice, while may not agree with all of your american whiskey reviews so far your scotch reviews are spot on keep it up.

  6. Eric says:

    I found this malt to be very “cereal-ly”, butnin a good way. Reminded me of Wheatabix, and I really like Wheatabix.

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