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Arran distillery

The whiskies of the independent Arran Distillery on the Scottish island of the same name gleaned whisky connoisseurs with an enormous aromatic bandwidth. From splashy and light-fruity to hard smoky, Arran has something to offer everyone. Their entry level Arran 10 years is both accessible and very representative of the distillery!

Arran Whisky

The Arran Distillery is located on the island of the same name in the west of Scotland in the Firth of Cylde between the mainland and the Kintyre peninsula. On the basis of its varied topography, the small island is also called ‘Scotland in miniature form’. The young distillery in Lochranza was only founded in the mid-90s, but quickly distilled into the hearts of whisky enthusiasts. Arran offers an enormous variety of whisky from different barrel species, with and without peat smoke and in different alcohol starches. For every taste and purse, Arran offers a suitable island-Whisky.

House style

How does Arran Whisky taste?The distillery character of Arran carries clear citrus flavors which are often interpreted as oranges or limes. Also a grainy base note is to be found in most Arran single malts. However, since the distillery is very keen to experiment, we find a wide range of other flavours in various bottlings. The non-smoky whiskies of Arran are often floral and gleaned with a creamy, almost sacred mouthfeel. The creativity in wood management, i.e. the use of different barrels, further individual aromas. With the Machrie Moor bottling, Arran also holds peat-smoky single malts.


How is Arran Whisky made?The Arran Distillers are an exceptional phenomenon in the Scotch Whisky industry. Because they started with their distillery project in the mid-1990s. During this time, Scotch whisky had just left behind the drought period of the 80s. Many distilleries were still motched, or completely closed. Arran, however, believed in their own whisky and opened the Arran Distillery on the beautiful west coast island in 1993. With the launch of Arran, the distillers use a large number of different barrels, which today is reflected in the multitude of bottlings. In addition to whisky from the Bourbon casks and whisky from the Sherry casks, Arran also has more unusual barrel varieties to offer. Arran bottling with various Wood Finishes, including Amarone, Calvados, Marsala, Port, Rum and Sauternes. The distillery’s water comes from Loch na Davie, the unpeeled malt from the Malt of Bairds Malt Ltd. from Pencaitland. In 2017, Arran reacted to the great demand for their whisky and the rising number of visitors. The visitor centre has been rebuilt and expanded. The production capacity has also been significantly increased. The distillery now has six fermentation tanks/Wash Backs with around 13,000 liters of capacity. The two Wash Stills contain 6,500 litres and the two Spirit Stills around 4,800 litres. With a new pair of kupferner Pot Stills, Arran can produce up to 1.2 million liters of crude fire annually on its 4 fuel bubbles.


On the Isle of Arran, the Arran Distillery has only been producing whisky since 1995. It is located in Lochranza in the valley “Glen Eason Biorach”, which translates to “Valley of the small waterfall”. Once known for excellent whisky, the island was without a distillery for 150 years. The Whisky veteran and long-time whisky consultant for many large whisky firms Harold Currie founded the Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd. in 1991 with David Hutchison. Especially here was the financing idea. The sale of debt securities was carried out with a large advertising wall, which were to be exchanged in whisky after a few years. The concept went on and the distillery was finally able to start operations in 1995.

The Isle of Arran has wonderful granite mountains, torry-plains, good water-and is popular with hikers and birdwatchers alike. As a result, the new whisky distillery was welcomed by the official as a welcome attraction for tourists. The Arran Distillery has an excellent visitor centre, which was inaugurated in 1997 with great tame on the part of Queen Elisabeth II, as well as a distillery shop, where fans of the distillery with whisky can cover themselves.

The planned start for Arran was in 1994 but the start had to be postponed by one year for environmental protection reasons. An eagle pair had chosen the grounds of the distillery as nesting site. The eagles subsequently made it into the logo of the Arran Distillery and can now be found on every label. 2017 began with the construction of a second distillery Lagg, which is to take over the production of the smoky whisky Machrie Moor in the future.

Arran factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Arran ar*ran Isle of Arran Highlands Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Active 1995 - Present Malt Arran Tour Link
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group
James Mactaggart Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd

Arran Timeline:

1995: The distillery was built at Lochranza by Harold Currie, former managing director of Chivas Brothers and Campbell Distillers. Money was raised by a "Bondholder’s Scheme" which investors could join for £450. In return they received five cases of Lochranza blended whisky in 1998, and five cases of mature malt in 2001 (all ex-duty). Production started 17 August 1995

1997: Visitor Centre is opened by HM The Queen

1998: First whisky released

2002: Production shut down

2004: Production started up again

Can I tour Arran?

Yes Arran distillery is tourable. On Trip Advisor the distillery has been rated as excellent by 652 of 961 tours to date. This gives Arran an overall rating of 4.5

Latest reviews

Whiskey Experience Worth a Visit by Angie R

Had a great whiskey and chocolate tasting - David the member of staff was friendly and very knowledgable about the product - great interaction with customers

Amazing by Johndpr

What an attraction really enjoyed this and learnt lots Mark the guide was amazing well done on a brilliant tour and historic info well done and thanks

Amazing Location, Gorgeous Whisky by How an A-Lister Travels

We booked a table in the cafe and did 2 tasting flights with 3 whiskys on each tasting they were all excellent.The food was great Haggis and Cheese Toastie dont knock it till you try it The location was spot on beautiful hills & scenery a real treat

Rating Reviews
Excellent 652
Very good 219
Average 36
Poor 28
Terrible 26