Although the Isle of Arran was once a hot-bed of distilling activity, there were no distilleries on the island for the majority of the 19th and 20th centuries. Isle of Arran Distillers opened their first distillery in 1995, and it quickly became a firm favourite. They bottled its first single malt in 1998, a limited edition 3 year old in a glass decanter. The distillery also produced a peated single malt called Machrie Moor, however an experimental second distillery on the other side of the island, called Lagg, is now the site of all the company’s peated production. As of 2019, the distillery was renamed Lochranza, however its single malt brand is still known by the old name, Arran.
This limited edition range was a nod to the shady history of Arran's distilling. Back during the 18th and 19th century the island was a producer of illicit whisky. Three volumes were released, presented in a book style package to hide the goods.
This is the complete trilogy, comprising of:
Arran Smugglers' Series Volume 1 / The Illict Stills
Volume 1 contains whisky which represents the type of dram the illicit producers would create. It is a mixture of Port Pipes and Sherry Hogsheads containing unpeated spirit and oak barrels containing peated spirit. An all-together heavier style dram than what is produced today. Released in 2015. One of 8,700 bottles. 56.4%
Arran Smugglers' Series Volume 2 / The High Seas
This second release pays tribute to the producers of the famed Arran Waters. The whisky itself is a peated spirit matured in rum casks and finished in first fill bourbon barrels. Released in 2016. One of 8,700 bottles. 55.4%
Arran Smugglers' Series Volume 3 / The Exciseman
The 2017 third release has been matured in Madeira and smaller bourbon quarter casks. 56.8%