Isle of Arran Distillery, Lochranza

Isle of Arran Distillery, Lochranza, Scotland

 
 
This evening, I am focusing on one of Scotland’s youngest distilleries, namely the Isle of Arran at Lochranza. Historically, Arran had a strong tradition in whisky making but this ended in 1837 although illicit distilling was still active until the 1860s.
 
The inspiration behind the new distillery was Harold Currie who had spent a lifetime in the industry. Production began in 1995 and the first whisky produced in 1998.
 
Today, the two key single malts produced are a 10 year old and a 14 year old. There is also a cask strength 12 year old.
 
In common with many Scottish whisky distilleries, Arran provide tours to visitors which in turn facilitated the images below.
 
Here is the guide describing the basic ingredients of malted barley, yeast and water.
Basic Whisky Ingedients, Isle of Arran Distillery

Basic Whisky Ingedients, Isle of Arran Distillery, Scotland

 
Here is the mash tun where malted barley and heated water and mixed in preparation for the fermentation process.
 
Mash Tun, Isle of Arran Distillery

Mash Tun, Isle of Arran Distillery, Scotland

 
Here is the wooden washback in which fermentation takes place. A non-alcoholic liquid called worts, being product of the mashing process, is pumped into the washback after which yeast is added and fermentation takes place.
 
Fermentation in Washback, Isle of Arran Distillery

Fermentation in Washback, Isle of Arran Distillery, Scotland

 
Here are the stills  where distillation takes place. The wash from the previous process ( about 6-8 pct alcohol) is passed through first the wash still then the spirit still in a process multiplies the alcohol measurement by a factor of about eight.
 
Distillation  at Isle of Arran Distillery

Distillation at Isle of Arran Distillery, Scotland

 
 
Finally, the finished product is matured in oak casks ( ex-bourbon or sherry) for an absolute minimum of three years but in practice for periods of 10, 12 or 14 years until ready for market. The casks shown below are for illustration purposes only.
Maturation Process at Isle of Arran Distilllery

Maturation Process at Isle of Arran Distilllery, Scotland

 Scotland boasts some 95 working distilleries, many of which, like Arran, are happy to show visitors the complicated processes starting with raw barley through to  maturation.

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