Isle of Arran Distillery has today released the first in a new series of whiskies inspired by smuggling in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Smugglers Series recalls the illicit whisky trade that operated from Arran and up the Clyde to Glasgow, with packaging using hidden elements inspired by the places the spirit was hidden.
Smugglers’ Series Vol 1 The Illicit Stills has a robust body and heavier peat influence, redolent of the whisky produced on the island in the past. Perfectly balanced by the sweetness of older ex-bourbon barrels and the rich and fruity influence of port pipes, the malt is fresh, full bodied and complex.
Bottled at 56.4.% ABV, it has a subtle nose of peat and a palate of juicy plums that gives way to white grapes and a blast of spicy ginger. Each dram finishes with a lasting flavour of dried apricots fading into salty, maritime notes.
The packaging mimics a beautiful hardbound book, complete with a cut-out compartment that conceals the bottle. Only 8,700 bottles are being released worldwide, with a recommended price in retail in the UK of £84.99.
Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillery, said: “We’re justifiably proud of the whisky-making heritage of the island. Visitors have long been fascinated in the illicit industry that ran between Arran and Glasgow in centuries past.
“With the distillery turning 21, it felt like the perfect time to commemorate that exciting time in scotch whisky’s heritage with a series that pays homage to its ancestors whilst looking forward to the distillery’s future.”