Distiller: Arran. ABV: 46%. Age: 14 years. Region: Islands. Price: $65-80.
Arran Distillers is one of the few independent distilleries left in Scotland, and the only one currently on the Isle of Arran, which once held more than 50. Founded in 1995, it’s being doing great things recently, and this 14-year-old bottling is a fine example.
The line-up starts with a 10-year-old, but I think I’d recommend this as the perfect first Arran.
The nose is bright and vibrant, which you might call the house style. There’s fresh vanilla, dried green apple, and candied ginger and lemon on the nose. On the palate, moist lemon pound cake, with a touch of whipped cream, and plenty of spice. Just the right amount of sourness on the long, intriguing finish.
I’ve gotten to spend more time with this Arran than most others, though I had the pleasure of surveying the full current lineup at an epic Malt Nuts tasting earlier this year, and I can assure you that there are many other good things in store for those who like the 14–particularly their cask strength and wine finish bottlings.
Slàinte, friends! – BO