What better way to commemorate a decade at the Isle of Arran Distillery and 40 years in the Scotch whisky industry than bottling something rather special?
Master distiller James MacTaggart (pictured right) has done just that with The Arran Malt, a limited-edition selection of first-fill bourbon barrels from his initial months of production in 2007.
‘The last 10 years have been very special for the distillery,’ MacTaggart said. ‘We’ve released our oldest age statements, including the 18yo which was a real coming of age for Arran.
‘One of the great pleasures of my job is crafting unique bottlings inspired by the island and its history – a history that I’m proud to be part of.’
Non-chill-filtered with no artificial colouring, the James MacTaggart anniversary single malt is bottled at natural cask strength of 54.2% abv. A limited-edition release of 12,000 bottles will be available worldwide.
‘James is a man dedicated to traditional whisky making, but with an eye to the sensibilities of the modern whisky drinker. He’s been instrumental in establishing the quality reputation of the Arran Malt and opening scotch up to a new generation of fans,’ commented Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers.
MacTaggart started his illustrious career at Bowmore in the 1970s and has witnessed first-hand the rise, fall and rise again of single malt Scotch whisky.
At Arran, he has overseen the distillery’s success at home and abroad,as well as creating its popular limited editions. The final bottling in his Smugglers’ Series sold out at the distillery shop in Lochranza within a day of going on sale, with customers queuing from 6am to get hold of a bottle.
Last year, 104,000 people made the journey to find ‘the Arran Waters’ at the Lochranza distillery – a 93% increase since 2012, and 18% increase on 2015. With the new Lagg Distillery site due to open on the south of the island next year, MacTaggart will witness another chapter in scotch and the Isle of Arran’s history.
‘This bottling is a fantastic way to pay tribute to the influence James has had on the Arran Malt and to give the Arran community a chance to own a piece of distillery history,’ Mitchell added.
54.2% abv, £64.99/700ml, arranwhisky.com