Founded in 1994 by Harold Currie, the Arran Distillery is one of the last remaining independent distilleries in Scotland. "The reason the distillery was built on the Isle of Arran," says James MacTaggart, Arran's master distiller, "was because there is a very good water supply here. In fact, it was tasted and it was decided that it was probably one of the best water supplies in Scotland for making whisky." When the distillery was finally completed in 1995 — construction was halted for nearly a year when a pair of Golden Eagles built their nest near the distillery — it became the first legal distillery on the Isle of Arran in over 150 years.
Arran Single Malt Whisky is made exclusively from unpeated Scottish barley, which is malted and then fermented using a proprietary strain of yeast. Once the barley has been fermented, the wash is distilled twice — first through Arran's copper-pot wash still and then again through Arran's copper-pot spirit still. The stills were custom designed, says MacTaggart, and "shaped to allow the lighter vapors to come up through the stills." As a result, Arran Single Malt Scotch Whisky has an appreciably softer and more delicate flavor profile as compared to other Scotch whiskies.
Following distillation, Arran 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky was aged in a combination of first fill sherry and first fill bourbon casks. As a result, the whisky has a copper gold color, along with an aroma of dried fruits, vanilla and toffee. Notes of caramelized oranges and apples on the palate are followed by touches of hazelnuts, dates and tea cake, and lead to a warm, layered finish. The whisky earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012 and the title "Best Island Single Malt"at the World Whisky Awards in 2011.