The Arran Malt: 14 Years (Scottish Island Single Malt Whisky: 14 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: Golden grain.

Viscosity: Very slow to form streaks from the spirit. Very slow streaks and very thin when they do form.

Nose: Slightly smoky. Red cherries. Mustard seeds and shortbread. Slightly creamy. Watercress. Slight eggs. Water makes the eggs more obvious and slightly musty.

Body: Creamy. Blue berry crumble. Light sugar dusting. Thick texture. Slight milky chocolate. Sweeter with water. Golden syrup and banana syrup. Slight walnuts. Much creamier with water.

Finish: Milky chocolate and pepper. Shortbread again. Light oak. Water adds banana bread and pancake. Still peppery with water and more oak filled.

Conclusion: When I tried the Arran 10 a while back I already knew that this bottle was awaiting me and I was intrigued to see what a few extra years would do to it. So now it’s here, what do we find?

Still creamy, but now it’s got some body to it. It’s like it spent the last four years on an intensive fitness regime for flavour.  Lots of sweet and lightly fruity elements to the whisky with a light pepper influence rounding it off. Very easy drinking and great to go alongside a dessert. So this far in and I’m already pretty impressed.

Then there’s the whisky when you get water added in. It’s quite a shock, much sweeter and with a sudden banana influence. Again its dessert accompanying whisky, but now almost syrupy in nature. It’s more a change in pitch than in style, similar yet distinctly different.

This whisky is very much a pumped up version of the ten year, but it has aged marvellously, smoother and fuller in all aspects.  It is probably too sweet to be a general drinking whisky, but anywhere from dessert to late night snacks it would fit in the schedule nicely.

A single use, two style whisky to be enjoyed.

Background:  Isle of Arran is a comparatively new Island malt, and quite significantly different from the harsh and salty island archetype. I’d tried the ten year a while back, and before that had seen the whiskys influence on Brewdog’s Paradox beer, so despite being a relative newbie to the spirit I’ve still had a bit of history with the distillery.

This was a present from my parents for which I thank them muchly. In fact the first dram was sampled whilst watching the Doctor Who Christmas special. A fine way to spend Christmas day (New Doctor Who is one of the few good things about Christmas In My Opinion)