This year, Master Distiller James MacTaggart celebrates his 10th anniversary at the Isle of Arran Distillery and an incredible 40 years in the Scotch whisky industry. To celebrate, he has created a unique limited edition bottling that marks his first full decade of creating whisky on the Isle of Arran.
This fresh and vibrant expression of The Arran Malt has been carefully blended by James from a selection of first fill Bourbon Barrels from his first months of production in 2007.
A fresh nose with notes of salt combine with lemon oil, pairing the coast of Lochranza with the iconic citrus notes of the Arran Malt.
The palate runs over with the immediate warmth of white pepper which softens as boiled sweets and apple pastries start to show. The lengthy finish sweetens further to candy floss as it fades away with the freshness of a well-made whisky-sour cocktail. This is a delightful expression of Arran Whisky where the true character and complexity shines through beautifully.
James said: “The last 10 years have been very special for the distillery. We’ve released our oldest age statements, including the 18 Year Old 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.”
Euan Mitchell, Managing Director of Isle of Arran Distillers, added: “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.
“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.
“We hope people will join us in raising a dram to a great man and a fantastic Master Distiller.”
Starting at Bowmore on Islay in the 70’s, James has been witness to the rise, fall and rise again of the popularity of Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
At Arran, he has overseen the distillery’s incredible success at home and abroad and has created their enormously popular limited editions – the final bottling in the Smugglers’ Series sold out from their Distillery Shop in Lochranza within a day of going on sale with customers queuing from 6am to get their 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 – a reflection of the popularity of James’ work and the warm welcome offered at the home of The Arran Malt in Lochranza.
With the new Lagg Distillery site due to open on the south of the island next year, James will be helping establish a new chapter for whisky production on the Isle of Arran.
Non Chill Filtered with no artificial coloring, the James MacTaggart Anniversary Single Malt is bottled at Natural Cask Strength 54.2% abv.
A limited edition release of 12,000 bottles worldwide, it is available online from early October at arranwhisky.com, from the Distillery Shop in Lochranza and at specialist whisky retailers worldwide, with an RRP £64.99