Next in our Arran age statement flight after the 14 year was an 18 year old! While the bottle we tasted from was purchased in 2018, it remains part of their core range, now in fresh new 2020 packaging. I understand that the style has remained consistent – playing with a range of Sherry casks to produce a fruity, tasty dram.
Arran 18 year 46%
- Nose – Wow! Quite the nose – initially sweet with heavy syrup, lots of sherry influence with this one, chocolate and coffee, mild cinnamon and back to dark fruits
- Palate – Mmmm…. there is a real depth here, sherry berry, dark fruits with dates, sweetened prunes, vanilla, good dose of sweet spices – particularly cinnamon, some allspice, even ginger… as we continued sipping, coffee became more and more prominent, joined by rum raisin cake
- Finish – There was a debate on this – first sip it seemed a bit ‘short’ with so much going on initially that the finish was lost… but as we continued, realized it has quite a long flavourful finish full of lingering mocha, cinnamon chased by sea salt, even a bit of a citrus tang
If the 14 year old had a toffee sweetness, the 18 year old was mocha – a decadent coffee chocolate…. a kind of creamy dreamy desert. There was no doubt everything that was fabulous about the younger whisky was taken up a few notches with the 18 year. It had wonderful flavours that invites one to just sip, savour, rolling around on the tongue, simply enjoying.
While I tried with water, it isn’t needed though holds it own too with a drop or two. It does help bring out the orange marmalade fruitiness, however keep it in your glass long enough without water and that also comes forward too. I kept thinking of one of those fruit and nut chocolate bars! With just an extra kick of zesty orange… with a fresh pour, the dates are more prominent… much later there was even a bit of black licorice joining the various elements – lovely!
There was no doubt this was a favourite for many. It was indulgent without being overwhelming… a fully satisfying well rounded robust sherry influenced whisky.
What do the folks at Arran have to say about their 18 year old?
Official tasting notes:
- Nose – Orchard fruits with syrup and toasted oak
- Palate – Caramelised orange, dark chocolate, baked peaches
- Finish – Sweetness, Spice, Citrus, Baked peaches.
What else did we sample from Arran in our vertical flight?
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