The Maltman Arran 18 Year Port Cask (1996)

Scotch Whisky Review #365: The Maltman Arran 18 Year Port Cask (1996)

Distillery: Arran.

Bottler: Meadowside Blending.

Region: Island.

Age: 18 Year. Distilled in November of 1996 and bottled in February of 2015.

ABV: 49.6%.

Cask Type: Port Cask.

Cask Number: 1636.

Cost: Pour thanks to /u/cagliostro9.

Color: 1.4, Tawny. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: It’s very bright and fruity with a ton of the port influence shining here. Cherries, red berries (namely cranberries, grape juice, and pomegranate all pop in.

Palate: Much like the nose suggests, the port influence here is heavy and shines brilliantly. Frankly put, it’s a tasty port bomb. A ton of those red fruit notes come through again with what seems like truckload of red berries along with pomegranate. Some oak spice comes in behind all of the fruit giving this a nice additional element.

Finish: Medium in length. Some drying oak comes through along with a strong nutty note. A hit of cream comes through before the red fruits of pomegranate and cranberry shine again.

Conclusion: Arran (or Lochranza as they call themselves to differentiate between their two distilleries) is a favorite of mine and that love comes from their seeming ability to deliver delicious whisky from just about any cask. This port matured bottling is a great show of that ability with Arran’s fruity character married brilliantly port casks. The red fruit notes from start to finish are delicious and the bits of spice, cream, and nuttiness that come through with it really make this a delicious expression. If you like port bombs, you’ll love this whisky. Many thanks to /u/cagliostro9 for this secret Santa dram!

Final Score: 85.

Scotch Whisky Review #365, Island Review #54, Whisky Network Review #518

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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