Whisky Magazine Issue 35
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Our Mystery Visitor travels to Arran
Isuppose that most, if not all readers of Whisky Magazine have dreamt of running their own distillery. Back in 1995, after a distinguished career in the industry, Harold Currie did rather more than that – he built his own brand new distillery, from scratch, and started producing single malt whisky.
His dream was to resurrect the lost distilling tradition on the Isle of Arran – a small island in the Firth of Clyde, sheltered from the Atlantic gales by the Mull of Kintyre – and today a popular holiday destination.
The site chosen was at Lochranza, in the north of the island at the foot of a beautiful glen, close to the ruined Lochranza Castle.
With tourism in mind, a visitor centre and restaurant was naturally also part of the dream and, in fact, is the first step on any tour.
The centre runs seven days a week throughout the summer, with guided tours departing on the hour. There are limited winter operating hours. Admission is £3.50, with the normal concessions.
For that, there's a small exhibition with an attractive waterfall display and an explanation of wood and ageing, followed by a short video in the rather cheesy replica 18th century “Crofters Inn”.
The film itself starts well enough, with interesting footage of the distillery's construction but then tails off into a conventional sales presentation. It's something of a lost opportunity to exploit one of Arran's unique aspects – after all, when did you last see a distillery being built?
I certainly wo...