Whiskey Whiskey: A Little Drinky Drink
Monday: 8 October 2012
Jane S. M. McKibben
    Isle of Arran also famously known as “Scotland in Miniature” is home to many sheep and a small population over 5,000 locals. This island is also home to a significant distillery that is famous for its award winning Arran Single Malt whisky.  Isle of Arran Distillery, established in 1995, has many visitors during the summer that pay for the tour around the establishment to learn its history and test their taste buds with a serving of the famous whiskey.  The tour guide openly greets and welcomes all.  She mentions how this particular distillery is “one of the few independent distilleries left in Scotland that has not been globally ran by outside countries”.  Located in Lochranza on the Isle of Arran that is West Coast between Ayrshire and Kintyre, the distillery has a cozy and comfortable atmosphere to it as the building sits between rolling mountains surrounded by a grassy landscape.  The tour guide, during her tour in the distillery, mentioned the top three reasons for the creation and explanation of the whiskey establishment to be located on the Isle of Arran: “When the founder of our distillery was trying to determined where to place this distillery he choose the Isle of Arran for three main reasons.  That being that the island has the purest water supply in all of Scottland, the gulf stream feeds the warm waters of Arran creating the microclimate that is ideal conditions for speedy maturation of single malt whiskies and Isle of Arran having a reputation for producing top quality whisky”.  The water source that the distillery uses comes from Easan Bioarch River while the type of barley used to produce the whiskey is that of a variety called Optic and the casts used for maturation are Ex-Bourbon Barrels (200L), Ex-Sherry Hogshead (250L), and Butts (500L). During the tour guide, tourist are given the opportunity to test their test buds with the famous whiskey.  Many tourist and visitors describe the whiskey as having a “watery clear appearance which you either are going to enjoy or dislike”.  Those who dislike the whiskey describe the smell and taste of that compared to rubbing alcohol.  The distillery is not only famous for its single malts but also its blends and cream liqueur.  Its most famous cream liqueur, Arran Gold, has a smooth and creamy taste and texture to it that leave a heavenly refreshing taste to it.  To outsiders, it has been know to be compared to Bailey’s Irish Cream but to those who have tried both and know the creation process it goes through, see this outsider’s perspective as an insult.  When asked about the difference between the Bailey’s Irish Cream and Arran Gold, the tour guide mentioned how there is a much higher quality of the Arran Gold and almost all its ingredients come from the Island.  However, she did shyly admitted, after questioned, that the cream itself comes from “Ireland because the quality of the creame is a lot better over there but we usually shy away from mentioning this fact and only address it when asked but you will get what you paid for”.   The distillery still continues to host tours of its establishment during various weeks during the summer when it is not active while also sells its products yearly in its gift shop.

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