A dynamic new force in the Scotch whisky industry, Isle of Arran Distillers is one of the few remaining independent distilleries in Scotland. They are based at Lochranza on the Isle of Arran, one of the most beautiful and famous in Scotland which lies off the west coast between Ayrshire and Kintyre. Arran is a unique island known as 'Scotland in Miniature', for it has all of the scenery of Scotland, with mountains and lowlands, glens, lochs and royal castles (including one at Lochranza).
Early in the 19th century there were more than 50 whisky distilleries on Arran, most of them illegal and carefully hidden from the eyes of the taxmen. The malt was acclaimed at the time as the best in Scotland, only rivalled by those from the 'Glen of Livet'. In modern Arran distillery was only launched in 1995, in one of the most beautiful locations in Scotland. Only the traditional methods of distilling are used, with wooden washbacks and copper stills designed to their exact specification.
The location offers perfect water for whisky production, cleansed by granite and softened by peat as it comes down from the mountain above. The atmosphere of sea breezes and clear mountain air together with the warm flow of the Gulf Stream matures the Arran Malt to perfection in earth floored warehouses. Arran are now developing sales of their brands across the world in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Arran is a unique island, and the products created by this young distillery are similarly unique. No peat is used in the production process and no caramel or artificial colouring - unlike most other whisky companies. The distillery describe their whiskies as 'the true spirit of nature'.
Production commenced at 14.29 on Thursday 29th June 1995 and during the official opening ceremony on August 17th two golden eagles, who live on the mountain behind the Distillery, provided a fly past as a 'thank you' for halting building work for several weeks to allow them to hatch their chicks. On a warm summer's day they can still be found, floating high on the thermal currents, before dropping like a stone hunting their quarry.
After initially maturing in traditional oak casks over a number of years The Arran Single Malt in this bottling was “finished' in a selection of Amarone wine casks sourced from an artisan producer of this stunning & iconic red wine from the Veneto region of Italy. Master Distiller, James MacTaggart, has carefully monitored this period of secondary maturation to ensure the perfect balance is struck between the Amarone casks and the intrinsic sweet-fruity character of The Arran Malt. The end result is a Single Malt with a rich brooding character, full of complexity and quality.
Aromas of poached pears and honey followed by toasted almonds and a subtle touch of cranberry. Dark chocolate, cherry and Turkish delights are evident on the palate as are stewed fruits and toffee. Muscular notes of dark plum wrestle with bitter-sweet apricots and a hint of cinnamon. A well-balanced combination of the finesse of The Arran Malt and the restrained fruit and oak from the Amarone casks. Concentrated and elegant this malt delivers on all levels.