Arran 21 year old
The first 21 year old single malt released for the Arran core range, launched at the tail end of 2018! An excellent Island whisky, showing off the glorious characteristic Arran fruit notes and how delicious they are paired with well-matured oak richness.
Nose: An expressive fruit melange packed full of stone fruits (apricot and peach), with grapefruit and gooseberry in support. Spices runs throughout – cedarwood and stem ginger with a touch of brassy polish inferring the level of maturity this Arran has now obtained. Depth comes from milk chocolate, buttery pastries and a hint of Ovaltine. Reduction brings out further fruitiness with orange peels, tangerine segments, steeped berry tea infusion and some underlying maltiness.
Taste: The arrival sums up this whisky instantaneously – sweetness vs. spice. It delivers (with a decent mouthfeel) on the fruity promise of the nose with orange zest and lemon tea (rather the St. Clements) alongside chocolate covered hazelnuts, light sponge cake, latte coffee and maple syrup – all sweet, rich and dessert-like. The mid-palate changes things up, with the cask influence coming to bear – woody ginger emerges and fades whilst white pepper bitterness flows then ebbs. It’s tantalisingly restrained. In the back palate, madeira dryness sits with chopped walnuts and ripe hedgerow berries. The addition of water (which is in no-way mandated) proves to be a worthwhile pursuit – tinned soft peaches and cacao nibs sit with emergent sweet florals – lavender and potpourri.
Finish: Medium to long, with bitter orange, dried tobacco leaves and sugared spice.