Here’s a random thing, well over 100 bottles of 13 year old Arran appearing on the SMWS site at 6pm on a Monday night. This was in the June 2013 outturn if Google serves me correctly. Having just opened a bottle of the 19 year old 121.77, it’s interesting to step back to 13 years old and remember how long Arran has been good..
September 28 1999, Refill bourbon, 298 bottles.
Nose – Sharp and sour immediately. Then very appealing with poster paints, new magazine, Milliput, green beans (raw), green grapes and carbon copy paper. Dusty wood too, almost sandpapered. Ultimately, a little solvent forward and harsh, although time gives it a bit more of a gentle, nutty edge. With water, vanilla icing, matchmakers and apricot tart.
Body – Rich, ripe, slightly alien but brightly citrus and bitter, like grapefruit and liquorice root. I haven’t had a young bitter Arran in ages! Toffee pennies and a little milk chocolate are in there too, as requested. Freshly squeezed orange juice with water, with a dash of bitter ruby grapefruit juice.
Finish – Long, lingering warm spices, ginger nuts and candied angelica. But bright, citrus and numbing too, particularly with water. And a massive blast of grapefruit tannins. A hint of spirit sulphur. Young and striking.
What’s not good about it – Solvent heavy, sour and a little harsh.
What’s good about it – But pulls that off with confidence. Complex, interesting and challenging. Lots of bright, ripe fruit, some chocolate, lots of quality.