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Arran 18yr 46% (2020 vatting)

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Bottling date 28/08/2020

Review by Sean Russell, January 2021

A bit of a sherry stealth that seems to fly under the radar, Arran has been a long-time favourite of mine. I’ve had some truly fantastic single casks of theirs, as well as their standard sherry, and Amarone Finish, and they all have you grabbing the glass for more.…

This one is their Core range 18yr that’s been matured in sherry casks, and then vatted, and diluted down to 46%. It’s basically a fighter that goes up against the other big sherried whiskies that mostly all begin with “Glen…”

Appearance: Deep amber. Thin oily legs.

Nose: Sweet & sticky raisins, tart/sour cherries, followed by fruit jelly sweets (fruit tots). Then a deep waft of blackcurrant jelly appears that’s accompanied by sweet, thick dessert wine. More sweet & sour notes appear in perfect balance, followed by warmed tamarind paste. And then unexpectedly, a lovely rich Bourbon & vanilla note come out of the glass as a final highlight on the nose.

Palate: Unctuous toffee sauce, nuts, honey-drenched porridge oats and dark fruit & citrus jellies dance around in the mouth. And of course, the anticipated and expected sherry signature is there. Really lovely so far. This then all makes way for that almost vanilla Bourbon/Rye note to appear that was detected on the nose at the end. This is so easy to get into.

Finish: Long, sweet and incredibly moreish. I could drink this whisky all night, it’s so enjoyable.

Conclusion: I’ve just placed an order for a bottle. It’s a beauty. Thanks to Mariella at the distillery for the sample. Available for around £80 at the time of writing.


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