Arran Distillery

Arran Distillery

  • Scotland
  • Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Gold at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, ASVA Award for Best Visitor Experience of the Year 2018.
Phone Number
  • +441770830264
  • Lochranza, Isle of Arran KA27 8HJ, United Kingdom

Arran Distillery

History of Arran Distillery

Early Beginnings

The Isle of Arran has a rich history of distilling that dates back to the early 1800s. Despite many small, often illegal, stills producing superior spirits, economic challenges led to their gradual decline. The original Lagg Distillery, located in the village of Lagg, ceased operations in 1840 due to poor management, transportation difficulties, and competition from larger mainland distilleries.

Revival and New Beginnings

The revival of this distilling tradition began in 1993, with the search for a perfect site on the Isle of Arran. Lochranza was chosen for its high-quality water. Construction of the new distillery commenced on December 16, 1994. However, it was briefly halted to accommodate a pair of nesting golden eagles, which have since become a symbolic part of the distillery.

Inaugural Production and Expansion

On June 29, 1995, the first spirit was distilled, and the distillery officially opened on August 17th. The visitor center was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997, emphasizing the distillery’s significance. The first legal dram of Arran Single Malt Scotch Whisky in over 160 years was produced in 1998, marking a historic moment.

Milestones and Developments

Further milestones include the release of the first official Arran Malt 10-year-old in 2006, and the introduction of the peated expression, Machrie Moor, in 2010. In 2016, the distillery celebrated its 21st anniversary, showcasing its growth and evolution. The construction of the Lagg Distillery began in 2018, focusing on the production of Lagg Single Malt.

Modern Era and Brand Evolution

In 2019, Lagg Distillery commenced production and opened to the public. That same year, Arran Whisky underwent a significant rebranding, reflecting its innovative spirit and was awarded Brand Innovator of the Year.

This history illustrates the resilience and innovation of Arran Distillery, from its early struggles to its modern-day success, continuously contributing to the rich tradition of whisky-making on the Isle of Arran.

Awards Won by Arran Distillery

  1. Arran 10 Year Old:
    • Awarded seven times, including Gold at the San Francisco Spirits Competition, World Whiskies Awards, International Wine & Spirits Competition, and The Scotch Whisky Masters Asia.
    • Recognised with the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
    • Won the Best Entry Level Single Malt at the 2022 Online Scotch Whisky Awards.
    • Achieved a Silver Medal at the World Whiskies Awards in the 12 Years and Under Island (Non-Islay) category.
  2. Arran 18 Year Old:
    • Won Gold at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, World Whiskies Awards, and the Scotch Whisky Masters Asia.
  3. Quarter Cask ‘The Bothy’:
    • Awarded in the category of Best Unaged Single Malt and Gold Medal at the World Whiskies Awards.
  4. Lochranza Reserve Single Malt and Machrie Moor Peated Arran Malt:
    • Received recognition for showcasing different sides of the classic Arran Malt character.
  5. Distillery & Visitor Centre:
    • Awarded the ASVA Award for Best Visitor Experience of the Year 2018.
  6. The Bothy Quarter Cask and Lochranza Reserve:
    • Claimed silver outstanding medals at the International Wine & Spirits Competition.
  7. Sherry Cask ‘The Bodega’ Quarter Cask ‘The Bothy’ and Barrel Reserve:
    • Successful in the World Whiskies Awards, dominating the Non Age Statement Island (Non-Islay) category with Gold, Silver, and Bronze respectively.

Arran Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The Arran Malt Experience

  • Cost: £35 per person
  • Times: 12:00 Monday-Sunday
  • Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • Details: This experience begins with a guided tour of the distillery, tracing the steps of producing Arran Single Malt. It culminates in the tasting room, where visitors enjoy a comprehensive introduction to Arran Single Malt whiskies, the heart of the distillery’s award-winning range.

The Distillery Tour

  • Cost: £15 per adult (18+), free for ages 8-17
  • Times: 10:00 Monday-Saturday & 15:00 Monday-Sunday
  • Duration: Approximately 1 hour
  • Details: The tour offers a walk-through of the distillery with insights into the processes behind their award-winning Arran Single Malt. It concludes with a tasting of Arran 10 Year Old single malt and Arran Gold Cream Liqueur. Note: Infants and children under 8 are not permitted on this tour.

The Lochranza Select Tasting

  • Cost: £35 per person (18+ only)
  • Times: 14:30 Monday-Saturday
  • Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • Details: This tasting session, hosted in the Dramming Room, offers a deeper exploration into Arran Single Malts, including cask strength and limited editions. The selection varies depending on availability. This tasting does not include a distillery tour.

Journey Through The Ages Tasting

  • Cost: £75 per person
  • Times: 13:00 Wednesdays & Sundays (May vary seasonally)
  • Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours
  • Details: An in-depth experience exploring the 30-year story of Arran Whisky. It starts in the still house, proceeds to Warehouse 1 for a cask dram, and concludes in the tasting room with iconic whiskies and tales of Arran. This experience is ideal for knowledgeable whisky enthusiasts.

The Arran Classic Tasting

  • Cost: £26 per person (18+ only)
  • Times: 12:00 Daily
  • Duration: Approximately 1.25 hours
  • Details: A tasting session in the bar, offering an introduction to Arran Single Malt whiskies. Suitable for both new and seasoned Arran whisky enthusiasts. This tasting does not include a distillery tour.

All tours and tastings require booked spaces, and ‘Drivers Drams’ are available for those who prefer not to sample whiskies immediately. For availability and bookings, contact 01770 830264 or email

Flask & Barrel Review of Arran Distillery

As an avid whisky collector and a veteran of many distillery tours, I had high expectations for my visit to the Arran Distillery, and I’m pleased to report that it nearly surpassed them all, earning a solid 4.7 out of 5 in my book.

From the moment I set foot on the premises, I was struck by the stunning location. Nestled in the scenic beauty of the Isle of Arran, the distillery offers a breathtaking backdrop that’s a treat for any nature lover. This visual feast, combined with the inviting aroma of malt and wood, set the stage for an exceptional experience.

The tour itself was both informative and engaging. As someone who’s seen his fair share of distilleries, I appreciated the unique insights into Arran’s whisky-making process. Their approach combines traditional methods with a modern twist, reflecting in the distinct character of their whiskies. The guide was knowledgeable and approachable, answering questions with an enthusiasm that only true whisky aficionados possess.

Tasting Arran’s range of single malts was undoubtedly the highlight. Each expression showcased their mastery of flavour and balance. The 10 Year Old stood out with its harmonious blend of fruity and vanilla notes, while the robust character of the 18 Year Old was a testament to their ageing expertise. The Quarter Cask ‘The Bothy’ added an adventurous edge with its intense tropical notes, and it was a pleasure to explore such varied profiles.

The visitor centre and facilities were top-notch, contributing to an overall pleasant experience. However, I did find the souvenir selection a bit limited, which is the only reason I’m holding back from a full 5-star rating. As a collector, I’m always on the lookout for unique items, and a wider range would have been the cherry on top.

Arran Distillery is a must-visit for any whisky enthusiast. It strikes a fine balance between the charm of traditional whisky making and the sophistication of modern techniques. The stunning location, expertly crafted whiskies, and the warm hospitality make it a standout experience. While there’s a slight room for improvement in the souvenir department, the overall quality and enjoyment of the visit were exceptional.

What To Do Nearby Arran Distillery

Glenashdale Falls and the Giants’ Grave: Located in the south of Arran, these impressive waterfalls stand at 45m high. A 5km circular walk, taking about 2 hours, will lead you through woodlands to the falls and the intriguing Giants’ Grave, a Neolithic burial site. The journey is a blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue​​​​.

King’s Cave: This historical site is on the east coast, near Blackwaterfoot. Known for its connection to Robert the Bruce and the inspiring spider legend, a 4.5 km walk through forest and coastline leads to these seafront caves, offering a mix of history and natural beauty​​​​.

Brodick Castle and Country Park: A must-visit attraction near Brodick, featuring a magnificent castle surrounded by gardens, waterfalls, and woodlands. It’s a site of historical interest and natural beauty, perfect for a family day out​​​​.

Isle of Arran Heritage Museum: Located in Brodick, this museum is a treasure trove of the island’s history, archaeology, and geology. It’s an insightful visit for anyone interested in learning more about Arran’s past and culture​​​​.

Glen Sannox: For a more leisurely experience, Glen Sannox offers a relatively easy 1.5-mile walk. Nestled between mountains, it showcases some of Arran’s most stunning landscapes, often compared to the scenery of Glencoe.

Silver Sands of Kildonan Beach: In the south of the island, this beach offers breathtaking views of Pladda Island and its lighthouse, with fine white sands and blue waters. It’s ideal for walks, picnics, or even a brave swim.

Eas Mor Falls: The Eas Mor Falls in the southern part of Arran are a great option for those seeking more natural beauty. This location offers a serene and picturesque setting, perfect for enjoying the tranquillity of the island.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Arran Distillery?

Lochranza Country Inn: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1770 830223. Their address is Lochranza, Isle of Arran KA27 8HL, United Kingdom.

The Sandwich Station: This establishment boasts a rating of 4.9 stars on Google Maps. For inquiries or reservations, contact them at +44 7393 602806. The address is A841, Isle of Arran KA27 8HL, United Kingdom.

Cruize Bar Brasserie: With a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps, Cruize Bar Brasserie can be contacted at +44 1770 302234. It is located at Auchrannie Resort, Auchrannie Rd, Brodick KA27 8BZ, United Kingdom.

What hotels are near Arran Distillery?

Seamill Hydro Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1294 822217. Their address is Ardrossan Road, West Kilbride KA23 9ND, United Kingdom.

Glenisle Hotel and Bistro: This hotel boasts a rating of 4.3 stars. For booking inquiries, contact them at +44 1770 600559. Located at Lamlash KA27 8LY, United Kingdom, it offers a scenic and comfortable stay.

Lochranza Country Inn: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1770 830223. Their address is Lochranza, Isle of Arran KA27 8HL, United Kingdom.