Capturing the spirit of Arran

New look for single malts unveiled ahead of 25th anniversary

The new-look branding for the Arran range is intended to highlight the provenance of the island malts

IN the cosy, intimate surroundings of The Gate in Glasgow’s east end, the contemporary new look for Arran Single Malt was officially launched, alongside two new expressions.

The “light, flexible and fruity” Barrel Reserve and The Bodega – a cask strength, sherry cask-matured spirit which partners Arran’s quarter cask The Bothy – have joined the core range, which also includes 10, 18 and 21 year old malts.

All six whiskies were showcased at the Glasgow launch event late last month, alongside the new-look packaging for the full range.

Intended to highlight the provenance of Arran Single Malt’s home in the village of Lochranza – in the north of the island – where the distillery opened in 1995, the new design incorporates a copper foil logo the shape of the island itself featuring a still and two eagles in reference to the birds of prey whose nesting season prompted a break in construction of the distillery back in 1994; the eagles are said to have remained in residence for the past 25 years.

It was the right time to make a clear distinction between the different spirits we produce.

The new-look bottle features ripples in the glass, intended to reflect the journey of the water source for the Arran single malts, which is said to pass through a series of six mountain waterfalls, each of which purifies the water further.

The new-look branding is being backed by the ‘Breath of Fresh Arran’ campaign, which is intended to highlight the “natural elements and authenticity” of the island malts.

The revamp of the Arran malts comes ahead of the 25th anniversary of Lochranza distillery next year, and follows the opening of its sister distillery in Lagg, in the south of Arran, earlier this year. The new state-of-the-art distillery, which has a café and visitor centre, will produce Lagg single malt – peated whisky which will be “very different in character” to the spirit produced at the Lochranza distillery.

James McTaggart, master blender at Isle of Arran Distillers, said the company now has two very different sites with different brand identities.

Lagg Distillery opened earlier this year

“As a company, we have grown immensely since I joined the team over 12 years ago,” he said.

“We were one of the first wave of new distillers back in the early 1990s and, in June this year, we started a new chapter in our story with the opening of our second distillery at Lagg.

“It felt like the right time to make the clear distinction between the unique and very different spirits produced at each of our island homes.

“We’ve taken inspiration from the elements that make Lochranza so special to produce a unique and beautiful new pack, which does justice to the liquid it contains. We are very excited about the future of our original Arran Single Malt.”

The launch event at The Gate in Glasgow gave guests the chance to sample drams from Arran’s core range: Barrel Reserve, 10 year old, Quarter Cask – The Bothy, Sherry Cask – The Bodega, 18 year old and 21 year old.

There was also a selection of cocktails available: The Clachan Highball (Arran Barrel Reserve, camomile honey, vermouth, citrus and soda), The Bell Old Fashioned (Arran 10 year old, PX sherry, maple and bitters) and High Place Highball (Arran Barrel Reserve, Italicus Rosolio, cloudy lemonade and citrus).