I've reviewed the previous version of Arran 10 Year twice before and still have one more bottle hiding in the back of my cabinet, so it's safe to say that I really enjoy its profile.
I've seen some suggestions that the the cask mix has changed from all ex-sherry casks (though I'm pretty sure they were mostly refill casks) to a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks, but I've been unable to get confirmation.
Thanks to Michael Kravitz for the sample.
Arran 10 Year (2014)
Nose: very floral, pink, medium weight sherry, berry jam, green malt, vanilla, milk chocolate, citrus peel. After adding a few drops of water it becomes more grain focused and less complex, the sherry is a distant hint, but some woody spices do come out.
Taste: malt sweetness with an undercurrent of sherry throughout, strong floral overtones, creamy vanilla, a light citrus tang and berries in the middle, bittersweet oak and grapefruit peel at the back. After dilution it becomes less sweet, grainier/grassier, and more bitter.
Finish: creamy malt, floral, gentle oak, grassy, grapefruit peel
While the cask mix may have changed, the blenders at Arran have done a fantastic job of maintaining the quality and character of the expression. While I feel like I can get some more bourbon cask influence out of this, it doesn't stick out or overwhelm the spirit character. With that said, I'd hold the water as it seems to fall apart with even a little dilution.
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