I received this Arran 21-year-old as a gift for Christmas. A wonderful gift and especially since I’ve been discovering Arran a bit more since last year. Always been one of my father’s favourite distilleries, but it has largely passed me by. Oddly enough, I’m only now beginning to see why he likes this brand so much.
This 21 year old single malt is the second oldest from Arran’s core range (there is also a 25 year old) and the oldest I’ve ever tasted from them myself. It was first released in 2019 along with the 18 Year Old, both of which were very well received at the time. Fully matured in sherry casks, after which it was bottled at 46%. And also lovely, it is relatively affordable too (€150-€160).
Arran 21 year old tasting notes:
Nose: I immediately get oranges and dark chocolate. But after that, a hint of mint emerges. Honey, raisins. Caramel fudge and also some vanilla. Then peaches and apricots. Later also a touch of nutmeg. All very nicely balanced.
Taste: Immediately those oranges and a little bit of citrus. Raisins. Caramel and honey. Haagse hopjes (a Dutch candy). The peaches and apricots are here too. Then it goes to spices, with some black pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon. A touch of oak too.
Finish: long with oranges, raisins, honey, and a little bit of the same spices again.
Fruitier in the nose than it tastes, although the fruit can be found there as well. But everything is very nicely balanced in this Arran. A single malt that starts calm and very subtle but opens up more and more. At first, it doesn’t seem like there’s much in it, but after time, it gives you new flavours to discover—a beautiful dram, which I enjoy a lot.