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 in our Whisky and Gift Shop on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile where you will be able to find whiskies from Arran.
Images kindly supplied by Arran Distillers.