Lochranza Distillery logo, Isle of Arran.

Lochranza Distillery

  • Scotland
  • ASVA Award for Best Visitor Experience of the Year 2018,
  • https://www.arranwhisky.com/
Phone Number
  • +441770830264
  • Lochranza, Isle of Arran KA27 8HJ, United Kingdom

Distillery visitor center at sunset with scenic hills backdrop.

History of Lochranza Distillery

The Founding of Lochranza Distillery

Revival of Whisky Production on the Isle of Arran (1995)

Lochranza Distillery, nestled in the village of Lochranza on Scotland’s Isle of Arran, began its operations in 1995. As a relatively young entity in the historic Scotch whisky industry, its establishment marked a significant revival of whisky production on the island. The Isle of Arran had a rich distillation history dating back to the 18th century but experienced a decline by the 19th century. Harold Currie, a former director of Chivas Regal, founded the distillery, bringing his vast experience to this new venture.

Strategic Location and Natural Resources

Choosing Lochranza for Water Quality

The choice of Lochranza for the distillery’s location was strategic, primarily for its access to the pure water from Loch na Davie. This natural resource is crucial for producing high-quality whisky, influencing the distinct character and flavor of Lochranza’s products.

Signature Whiskies of Lochranza Distillery

Diverse Range Reflecting Isle of Arran’s Character

  1. Arran Malt: The flagship single malt Scotch whisky from Lochranza, Arran Malt is celebrated for its smooth, fruity flavor, embodying the unique essence of the Isle of Arran.
  2. The Bothy: This whisky is aged in quarter casks, offering a richer and more intense flavor due to increased wood contact during maturation.
  3. Machrie Moor: Named after a legendary peat bog on the island, Machrie Moor introduces a peated, smoky character, diversifying the typical Arran malt profile.
  4. Limited Editions: The distillery produces special limited edition whiskies featuring unique cask finishes and aging processes, appealing to collectors and connoisseurs.

Contribution to the Industry and Educational Outreach 

Lochranza Distillery emphasizes sustainability and environmental responsibility in its operations. They use responsibly sourced barley and manage waste products effectively, reflecting their commitment to eco-friendly practices.

Tourism and Educational Outreach

Lochranza Distillery is a production site and a popular tourist destination. They offer tours that highlight the whisky-making process and the distillery’s history. The visitor centre provides an immersive experience for whisky enthusiasts, including tastings and educational sessions, making it a significant attraction for tourists and whisky lovers alike.

Contribution to the Scotch Whisky Industry

Lochranza Distillery represents a harmonious blend of traditional Scotch whisky-making practices and modern innovation. Its contribution is vital to the resurgence of whisky production on the Isle of Arran and the broader Scotch whisky industry, combining a rich historical background with contemporary approaches to distilling and environmental stewardship.

Awards Won by Lochranza Distillery

Arran 10 Year-Old: This expression has been a standout winner, securing seven awards. It received Gold at the San Francisco Spirits Competition, the World Whiskies Awards, the International Wine & Spirits Competition, and The Scotch Whisky Masters Asia.

Arran 18 Year Old: This aged whisky also won Gold at the World Whiskies Awards, the International Wine & Spirits Competition, and The Scotch Whisky Masters Asia, showcasing the distillery’s expertise in producing matured whiskies.

Quarter Cask ‘The Bothy’: This unique expression won in its Best Unaged Single Malt category and received a Gold Medal at the World Whiskies Awards.

Lochranza Reserve Single Malt and Machrie Moor Peated Arran Malt: Both these whiskies performed well, showcasing different aspects of the classic Arran Malt character. The Lochranza Reserve offers fresh vanilla and citrus notes, while the Machrie Moor presents a peatier style with a smoky twist.

ASVA Award for Best Visitor Experience of the Year 2018: The distillery was honored with this award by the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, which includes members like The Scotch Whisky Experience and Historic Scotland sites.

Gold Award at the Scottish Whisky Awards: The Lochranza Distillery won a gold award for their Arran Single Malt 10-year-old in the Single Malt 12 and Under category at the prestigious Scottish Whisky Awards.

Lochranza Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The tour experience at Lochranza Distillery on the Isle of Arran offers a unique and engaging insight into the world of whisky making. Here’s a summary of what you can expect:

Guided Tours

The distillery provides guided tours, a fantastic way to appreciate the alchemy of whisky making. You’ll be able to learn about the distilling process from professionally trained guides.

Tasting Experiences

There are various whisky-tasting experiences available. These include the Core Range Tasting, which happens at 11 am every day and allows you to explore the character of Arran Single Malt.

The Limited Editions tasting, conducted at 2 pm daily, delves into the distillery’s rarer bottlings. For those with a sweet tooth, the Whisky & Arran Chocolate Tasting pairs Arran Single Malt with handmade chocolates from the island.

Visitor Centre and Shop

Open daily from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, the visitor centre offers a warm welcome and an opportunity to purchase a variety of whiskies and other items.

CASKS Café and Coffee Bar

CASKS Café serves an appetising menu based on the best of local produce, while the Coffee Bar offers snacks, sandwiches, and a selection of hot and cold drinks.

Pet Policy: While well-behaved dogs are welcome in the grounds, they are not permitted in the indoor areas of the Distillery & Visitor Centre.

Booking Information: It’s important to note that all tastings and CASKS Café bookings must be pre-arranged in advance due to current regulations.

Flask & Barrel Review of Lochranza Distillery

As a seasoned whisky collector on more than a few distillery tours, I reckon Lochranza Distillery on the Isle of Arran is a real gem. I’d give it a solid 4.7 out of 5.

First off, the setting is just stunning. Nestled in the picturesque village of Lochranza, it’s the place that makes you want to linger. The distillery is a blend of modern and traditional, which adds to its charm.

The tour was top-notch. It’s one thing to know your whiskies but another to see where and how they’re made. The guides at Lochranza are knowledgeable and passionate, making the experience informative and engaging. I’ve been on a few tours, but this one stood out for its depth and detail.

Tasting their whisky was the highlight, of course. I was impressed as someone who appreciates the nuances of a good dram. Their Arran Malt has a unique character – smooth, with a fruity note that’s quite distinct. And their Quarter Cask ‘The Bothy’?

Absolutely brilliant. It’s got this intense tropical vibe with a hint of coconut and vanilla. As a collector, these are the kinds of flavours that make a bottle worth adding to the shelf.

The visitor centre and CASKS Café were a nice touch too. After the tour, sitting down with a good meal and a dram was the perfect way to cap off the visit. The café’s focus on local produce is commendable and adds an authentic touch to the whole experience.

If I had to nitpick, I’d say the location is a bit out of the way, but that’s also part of its charm. It’s an experience that feels exclusive and off the beaten path.

What To Do Nearby Lochranza Distillery

Lochranza Castle: You can explore the historic Lochranza Castle a short distance from the distillery. This picturesque ruin offers a glimpse into Scotland’s past and provides stunning views of the surrounding area. It’s a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts.

Wildlife Watching: Lochranza is a haven for wildlife lovers. Keep your eyes peeled for red deer, and grey seals along the water’s edge, and if you’re lucky, you might spot golden eagles soaring overhead. The village’s natural setting makes it ideal for observing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Hiking and Walking Trails: If you’re up for some physical activity, Lochranza offers several walking and hiking trails. These range from leisurely coastal walks to more challenging hill treks. The Laggan circuit, for instance, is a popular choice, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Golfing: For golf enthusiasts, Lochranza also boasts a scenic 9-hole golf course set amongst hilly scenery. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spot local wildlife.

Ferry Rides: Lochranza serves as a gateway to the mainland with its ferry service. You can enjoy a short sail to the Campbeltown peninsula, combining a visit to both Lochranza and the peninsula in a single trip.

Art Galleries: Art lovers can visit the Secret Garden Gallery, which showcases a variety of artworks from local artists. It’s a delightful place to appreciate local creativity and perhaps pick up a unique souvenir.

Cycling: The region offers fantastic cycling opportunities, especially along the A841, which provides a great ride with impressive views.

These activities, coupled with the serene and picturesque environment of Lochranza, make it an ideal destination for a day of exploration and relaxation. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or just looking for a peaceful retreat, Lochranza has something to offer everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Lochranza Distillery?

The Parlour: This restaurant has a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Maps. Contact details are +441770307350 and the address is Kames Cottage, Brodick, Isle of Arran KA27 8BU, United Kingdom.

The Wineport Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. Their contact number is +441770302101 and address is Cladach, Brodick KA27 8DE, United Kingdom.

Cruize Bar Brasserie: This establishment has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 11 Glen Pl, Brodick, Isle of Arran KA27 8BT, UK.

What hotels are near Lochranza Distillery?

The Shorehouse: This hotel has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. Their contact number is  +441770302377 and address is Shore Road, Brodick, Isle of Arran KA27 8AJ, United Kingdom.

Butt Lodge: It has a rating of 4.9 stars on Google Maps. Their contact information is +441770830333 and address is Lochranza, Isle of Arran KA27 8HQ, United Kingdom.

Auchrannie Resort: This establishment has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. Their contact number is +441770302234 and address is Auchrannie Rd, Brodick, Isle of Arran KA27 8BZ, United Kingdom.