As weekends away go, a trip to Arran has to be up there as one of the finest.
For a small island it packs a big punch. The island itself is only 10 miles wide and 20 long. Small enough to let you know you’re on an island, but with enough variety in its villages and coastlines to ensure you are never bored. Local specialist producers of cheese, fine soaps and real ales dot the island adding to its charms.
Depart the Ferry and you roll straight onto the main road that loops the island – hugging its 55 miles of coastline with pebble shores and golden sand beaches – to its quaint villages and our main attraction, the Arran distillery.
As far as distillers of Scotch whisky go, Arran is still considered a bit of a new kid on the block. But don’t let that put you off. For a young distiller Arran has more than proved its credentials to compete with the big boys. As an artisan producer it has shown integrity in its production methods that have resulted in a range of honest and complex malts. A fruity starter liquor with notes of pineapple, aged in 2nd generation casks and never chill filtered, creates beautiful smooth drinking non peaty Scotch whiskies.
The tour is excellent, the distillery immaculate and stylish and the staff welcoming and knowledgeable. As our guide wisely told us, there is no ‘best whisky’- only you’re favourite, and if you’re a fan of non peated malts you’re sure to find one amongst their many gems.