Whisky Magazine Issue 51
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The Isle of Arran Distillery is 10 years old. Dominic Roskrow joined the celebrations
When a majestic eagle rose up from the hills behind the Isle of Arran Distillery at precisely the time that it reached its 10th birthday it was either a remarkable coincidence or the result of some very clever marketing.
The symbolism was lost on nobody. Exactly a decade earlier two of the great hunters had flown over the new buildings, and guests that day had taken their presence as a positive omen, a blessing on the new venture.
This time, though, the symbolism seemed too good to be true. There were one or two whisky-fuelled dark rumblings about sales director Euan Mitchell lurking by the hill with a cage. One or two people suggested that Arran just happens to have a lot of eagles.
But for the romantics among us, this was a totally natural and fitting moment. For if ever a distillery has cosied up to its environment and made itself so quickly at home, it's the one on Arran.
Heritage counts for a lot in whisky, and your average distillery tour will talk about how long the distillery has been producing its whisky, and recall the generations that have gone in to perfecting it, emphasising the history of the region and the brand.
Of course Arran can't do that. Rather than hide the fact that it's a newcomer, though, it celebrates it. From the moment you sit down in the purpose-built mini cinema to watch an introductory film, you're aware that Scotch is heading in a new direction here.
The film itself gently (very gently) mocks the clichéd babbling brooks and rugged rock i...