Arran Distillery was founded in 1995 by Harold Currie, and build as the only remaining distillery on the Isle of Arran. For a long haul the only widely available Arran expressions was a NAS expressions, first released in 1998 when the whisky had matured for three years.
At first Arran was build without a maltmill or visitor center. Arran simply bought their ready maid grist from outsiders until 2007 where their maltmill was installed; allowing them to produce their own malted barley. In 1997 their visitor center was build, which since has been awarded “distillery visitor experience of the year” two times in a row, in 2014 and 2015.
In 2009 a new warehouse with a total capacity of 3.000 casks was added to the old warehouse. Arran produces around 500,000 liters of whisky per year. Arran recently announced that they are building a second and new distillery of the south of the island, alongside a second visitor center and warehouses, which allows Arran to produce 1.2 million liters of whisky per year.
You really had to get out of bed early, to catch up with all the different expressions Arran has released through the years, counting more limited edition releases than I can keep track of, including their most legendary The Devil’s Punchbowl; Chapter 1 – 3 and The Illicit Stills; Volume 1 – 3 (Part three haven’t been released yet), and have done a impressive series of double matured finished whiskies, like Port, Bordeaux, Rum, Cognac, Sherry, Amarone, Madeira, and plenty of more that I don’t really care to list here, but personally I was a big fan of the old Madeira Cask; The Illicit Stills vol.1 not so much.
But lately it seems that Arran has settled more down - sought off - and found its place, and have had the years to build its core range, now includes their 10, 14 & 18 years old, and their Robert Burns Single Malt and Robert Burns Blend (Arran is a patron of the World Burns Federation). Beside those, their yearly limited editions releases are their Machrie Moor Single Malt and Machrie Moor Single Malt Cask Strength Edition and their Bothy Quarter Cask Edition, and Oh, right now; Port, Sauternes, Madeira and Amarone Cask Finish. Not to forget their Lochranza Reserve NAS whisky. Well, never mind the “settled more down” sentence.
Arran is owned by The Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd. Who basically are a group of private shareholders, with distillery manager James MacTaggart in front.
By: Hasse Berg