Isle of Arran Distillery Expands With New Distilling Facility, Visitor Centers - The Whiskey Wash

Isle of Arran Distillery Expands With New Distilling Facility, Visitor Centers

By Nino Marchetti / February 24, 2017

Scotland’s Isle of Arran distillery is not all that old by Scottish standards, having opened only back in 1995. It pretty much has its namesake island to itself though when it comes to whisky production, making it a popular tourist destination. Arran is now undergoing expansion, adding a new distillery/visitor center on another part of its isle and renovating its existing operations.

Arran distillery currently operates out of Lochranza, a village on the northern most part of the island. Its new operations will be focused in Lagg, on the south coast of the island, and will sit alongside fields of barley that are currently used in distillation. Plans call for visitor center here, as well as pot stills for distillation and new aging warehouses. These latter buildings, once completed, will allow for enough capacity to increase annual production to around 1.2 million liters.

arran lagg

A rendering of the new Isle of Arran Lagg facility. (image via Isle of Arran)

As part of the new distilling facility, Arran will be focused on production of more heavily peated single malts such as its popular Machrie Moor. This will, in turn, free up Lochranza to focus more on the creation of limited edition expressions.

As for Lochranza, production of whisky, particularly the aforementioned limited editions, will be increased via the installation of four brand new stills and a new spirit safe. It will support roughly 140 new casks worth of whisky per week. On the visitor’s side, the visitor’s center has seen a complete redesign of the reception area and a new tasting bar geared towards larger groups of visitors.

Construction at Lagg begins as the popularity of distillery visits reaches an all-time high. The distillery site at Lochranza welcomed record numbers of visitors in 2016, with over 104,000 people making the trip. This number is expected to rise to a combined 166,900 by 2018 once the new Lagg visitor center has been opened.

“The past 21 years has seen the ‘Arran Waters’ flow around the world,” said Euan Mitchell, Managing Director at the Isle of Arran, in a prepared statement. “We are relatively young compared to some other Scotch whisky distilleries and we have a fresh, dynamic approach coupled with big ambitions to introduce more people to top quality malt whisky.”