Arran 16, 1996 (Glen Fahrn)

Despite what you might think, this is not a pointless review of a long disappeared whisky. Well, the review may be pointless, but the whisky is still around. Glen Fahrn are a German retailer who started releasing their own bottlings a few years ago (I’m not sure if they still do). I purchased samples of a few of these from Whiskybase a while ago but had somehow forgotten to drink any of them. I came across these Arran samples recently and decided it was time. Much to my surprise, when I looked up the whisky I discovered that it’s still available from Glen Fahrn’s store. There might be a reason for this: it pains me to tell you that my review is not likely to make you want to rush out and purchase a bottle. I’m always disappointed when this happens with an indie bottling of a whisky from an indie distillery. It’s especially disappointing in this case as I’ve enjoyed the few bourbon cask Arrans I’ve had a fair bit (see the most recently reviewed) and was hoping the positive streak would continue. 

Arran 16, 1996 (56.2%; Glen Fahrn; from a purchased sample)

Nose: A little grainy and spirity to start but then there’s some malt and  chalk and some lemon. Maltier with time and the chalky note turns more aspirin-sour. Nothing interesting happens with water.

Palate: Pretty much as promised by the nose but with a little more sweetness. Because of the acid/sour notes, probably, this tastes pretty hot at full strength. Gets grainier with time. Let’s see if water rescues it. Yes, it does a bit: more sweetness and less of the grain now.

Finish: Long. Not terribly interesting with just some oaky spice that lasts a good while. As on the palate with water.

Comments: Though it improved with water, I can’t think of much of a reason for this to have been bottled as a single cask. It’s drinkable enough but it’s not particularly interesting. Hopefully, this will not be true of the other Glen Fahrn releases I have samples of.

Rating: 78 points.

6 thoughts on “Arran 16, 1996 (Glen Fahrn)

  1. The idea of a pointless review just because a whisky isn’t readily available seems silly to me. Sure, not everyone can find this, however we all go to bars that could have it. And it’s good that someone reviewed it so we can decide if we’d like it or not.


  2. It could certainly be argued that finding a ‘pointless’ review on MAO is far more interesting than the norm in other parts of the blogosphere, which is to post a review of the latest big launch in unison with countless others. I was trying to think of a recent example but I don’t read these kinds of blogs any more. I do read this one, though.


  3. The worst blogs are the ones that just post press releases.

    While I’ll skim the titles of current posts from around the blogosphere that some blogs helpfully have on their “blog roll” and dip into any posts that look interesting, the only whisky blogs I know of that are consistently worth visiting as a destination in themselves are MAO, Diving for Pearls, and All Things Whisky. …And the K&L blog, but that’s a different beast—you gotta appreciate that in the “can’t help but look at a train wreck as you drive by” kinda way.


  4. Thanks for these comments. I don’t mean to give the sense that I receive a lot of complaints about the low “utility” of my whisky reviews but I do get questions about it from time to time. And when I post reviews of current whiskies, I do get requests that I do more of that kind of thing. I know it’s terribly self-indulgent (I’m a blogger), but I might post something about that subject later this week.


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