Arran has always been a fine place to make good whisky, but when quantity was prized over quality their wee island couldn't compete, and one by one the distilleries fell into disuse. Isle of Arran Distillers revived the tradition when they built their new distillery in Lochranza, at the north end of the island. With a three-year old cask being opened on 25th July 1998, their guests enjoyed the first legal dram of Arran whisky in over 160 years.
Isle of Arran Distillers now produce a range of ages and expressions, but all are made using the same traditional methods and materials. They always use all-Scottish barley and the washbacks - large wooden vessels used for fermentation - are crafted from Oregon pine. Distillation takes place in tall, swan-necked copper stills and the whisky matures in carefully-chosen oak casks that have previously held Sherry, Bourbon and other noble liquors. Even today, about 2% of the spirit escapes through the porous wood each year, providing the angels with their famous share...
Fun-fact for you, Prince Harry and Prince William both have a cask of Arran sitting in the distillery, working its magic!
In June 2016 they celebrated their 21st anniversary and the christening of 'Rowan House' a brand new blending and tasting building in the grounds of our Lochranza Distillery. And, with plans in place to begin building a second distillery in the south of the island in October 2017, times have never been more exciting!
The team at Isle of Arran are well known for being among the friendliest in the business. As Master Craftsman describes, making whisky is a team effort but with over 40 years experience in the whisky industry, and 10 of those at Arran, he's the chap to hear more from:
With their official link to Burns Night, on the 25th January you may well find yourself above the wall, or dreaming of Scotland. Arran Whisky are sponsors of the new Burns Unbroke Festival which will take place, for the first time, in Edinburgh between 25th January to 10th March 2018. So if you're up that way, head on over and experience their whisky masterclass!