The Arran Malt 16 Year

Scotch Whisky Review #439: The Arran Malt 16 Year

Distillery: Arran.

Region: Island.

Age: 16 Year. Bottled in 2013.

ABV: 46.0%.

Cask Types: Bourbon and Sherry casks.

Color: 1.2, Chestnut / Oloroso Sherry. Natural Color and Non Chill Filtered.

This dram is the thirteenth of 2022’s Christmas Countdown! Whiskies from previous years can be found here.

Every year, I look at the advent calendar offerings that pop up across the pond and think that it would be super cool to do something like that (it is actually the inspiration for my review spree in December). Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who wanted to do one so between /u/federalagents, /u/DangerousDoorknob, and I we put our own together! This is the twelfth dram of the calendar. It was reviewed partially blind as in I know the whiskies in the calendar but not the order.


Nose: Fairly straightforward. There’s some marzipan, a bit of vanilla soft serve, and then some lemonade to round things out.

Palate: Definitely feels a bit closed off, not hot by any means but just very closed up. A couple of drops of water does wake things up a bit, but it feels like it never quite gets going. Raw marzipan is the main notes followed by a bit of limoncello. There’s a vegetal note that comes along a bit later that reminds me of a baby corn and bamboo shoot stir fry my mom used to make growing up.

Finish: Medium in length. Fairly grassy with more of the raw marzipan. There’s a bit of bitterness as well.


Guess: Japan. Malt. NAS. 46-50% ABV.

Reveal: Arran 16 Year.


Conclusion: If I were to name this review, I’d name it “The Dangers of Tunnel Vision”. I got this one so, so wrong largely in part of reading off of the wrong list of potential whiskies and then convincing myself that the notes I was getting was right in the alley of what I thought it was! This Arran was one I was super excited about when we were developing the whisky lists, I hadn’t tried it and I’m such a fan of the 14 year that I expected an even better version for the 16. It probably needed a lot more time in air, to be honest, because it felt incredibly closed off. I managed to get something out of it with water but even then it never felt like it got going. Not bad, but seemingly very simple and not quite as fruity as I would have expected from Arran.

Final Score: 80.


Scotch Whisky Review #439, Island Review #71, Whisky Network Review #594


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
  • 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
  • 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
  • 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
  • 70-74: Alright, solid and 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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