This month on Meet our Makers we would like to introduce you to Arran Distillers. A relatively new addition to The Scotch Whisky Experience family, we are delighted to tell you a wee bit more about them.
The Isle of Arran lies off the south-west of Scotland between the Ayrshire coast and the Kintyre peninsula where it benefits from the warmth of the Gulf Stream. With its mountains, lowlands, glens and royal castles, it is affectionately known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’. The Kintyre peninsula provides a degree of ‘shelter’ for the island from the prevailing westerly winds, which also creates a very conducive climate for the maturation of single malt Scotch whisky.
The Isle of Arran Distillery was built in the foothills of the village of Lochranza in 1994 and the first spirit ran from the stills on 29 June 1995 - bringing legal distillation back to Arran after an absence of more than 150 years.
The distillery was a brand-new enterprise and since that first day in June 1995 when the first cask was filled, it has gone on to produce a world class single malt Scotch whisky which has won international acclaim - we are delighted they are part of The Scotch Whisky Experience.
Isle of Arran Distillers is the only whisky producer on the island and they own two single malt distilleries, Arran in the north and Lagg in the south. Lagg Distillery opened in June 2019 and is home to the future heavily-peated Lagg single malt. At the Lochranza distillery, they try to create a spirit that is true to its roots – a rich but gentle, fruity whisky that still holds a lot of character – a Speyside from an island, as they call it!
Every drop of Arran single malt starts its life as rainwater which pools at Loch na Davie in the beautiful hill high above the distillery - today's rain really is tomorrow's whisky! The clear water cascades down the hillside, through six unassuming waterfalls, each one purifying the water further. The name of the burn, Easan Biorach, means ‘sharp waterfalls’ in Gaelic. The purity of the water means that the distilling team can create a clean, sweet dram which is entirely natural and unadulterated. Double-distilled from unpeated malt, Arran single malt is matured in both ex-Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks for perfect balance. The result is a fuller bodied dram with a delightful sweet-fruity character that shows maturity far beyond its years.
They use only traditional methods of distilling, with wooden washbacks and copper stills, designed to their exact specification. Arran single malt is now distributed in around 50 different markets worldwide.
Arran is a welcoming island; its people are open and friendly. The distillery has a visitor centre which is situated in the beautiful village of Lochranza, the home of whisky on Arran. Here you can learn about the art of whisky making from their professional tour guides.
Enjoy having a browse of our site and take a look at the following products we have from Arran available:
Arran Barrel Reserve – A new addition to the re-branded core range of Arran whiskies and the expression that focuses on the smoother and fresher side with delicate marine notes, fresh citrus and crispy apples. 100% matured in 1st Fill Bourbon Barrels and bottled at 43% it is soon going to become your go-to dram for every occasion - neat, with ice or in a longer drink or cocktail. It is beautifully presented in a bottle featuring many aspects of its island home. From the ripples in the glass reflecting the pure water used to create Arran Whisky to the two golden eagles who have also made Lochranza their home (initial construction of the distillery was delayed when they chose to nest on a cliff near the site in 1994!)
Arran Bodega Sherry Cask – Also a brand new product (first released in 2019) and the perfect choice for someone who enjoys their Single Malt with plenty of body and complexity. This Cask Strength, 100% Sherry matured Single Malt is both luxurious and elegant with layers of rich sweet spice and oak and notes of dark chocolate, ginger, ripe figs and sweet cherries. Isle of Arran Distiller’s Master Distiller has worked with producers in some of the most prestigious Sherry Bodegas in Jerez, Spain to select only the best quality casks to be filled with this precious spirit.
Burns in a Box – Our Burns in a Box product includes a Robert Burns single malt Scotch whisky from Arran Distillers. This quirky kit that we have put together will help you celebrate the life and poetry of our national Bard, Robert Burns, while enjoying a delicious dram. Distilled at Lochranza Distillery, you’ll get to enjoy the official and only Robert Burns whisky with Isle of Arran Distillers being Patron of the Robert Burns World Federation. It is a beautifully rounded whisky that is smooth, malty and sweet with a interesting twist on the finish. The use of mainly American oak ex-Bourbon casks in its maturation has accentuated the sweet-fruity notes already present in the Arran Malt character whilst a smaller proportion of ex-Sherry Hogsheads adds depth and richness.
Images kindly supplied by Arran Distillers.