Isle of Arran Distillery toasts international drinks tourism award win
Isle of Arran Distillers has been recognised at the prestigious Drinks Business Awards for their success and investment in wine and spirits tourism.
An international award judged by the biggest drinks trade magazine in the world, the distillery beat off tough competition from wineries and distilleries to win the accolade for ‘Best Contribution to Wine and Spirits Tourism’.
The judges praised the distillery’s success in enhancing the whisky tourism offering in Scotland, their role in the impressive boost in visitors to the island and for the substantial investment into Lochranza and the new distillery planned for Lagg.
James MacTaggart, master distiller at the Isle of Arran Distillery, said: “We are fiercely proud of our island home and of the welcome we offer to all those seeking ‘the Arran Waters’.
“The Distillery & Visitor Centre at Lochranza, our large network of worldwide distributors and our investment in the south of the island at Lagg, are all central to our business success. It is also core to our wish to introduce the world to the qualities of our malt whisky, and to the people and places involved in its production.
“Arran has a unique position in the history of Scotland’s most recognised product and this award is testament to our contribution to the bright future the industry has.”
Faye Waterlow, visitor centre manager, said: “Everyone is over-the-moon with this award.
“We are one of over 130 distilleries in Scotland, and certainly one of the most remote, but we are proud to offer visitors a very warm welcome complete with fascinating tours, good food and, of course, the finest spirit.
“We work continually all year round to distribute our whisky in countries all over the world and it is important for us to offer a first class welcome to all those who make the long journey to our home in Lochranza.
“Our whole company is dedicated to building on this recognition as we look towards the opening of the new centre at Lagg and an exciting new chapter of whisky-production on Arran.”
The visitor centre at Lochranza welcomed a record number of visitors last year. 104,000 people made the journey to the distillery in 2016 – a 93% increase since 2012, and 18% increase on 2015.
Currently the highest-rated attraction on the island on Trip Advisor, Lochranza recently reopened after the completion of £1 million worth of rennovations to both the visitor centre and distillery.
The Company currently distributes their Single Malt in 50 worldwide markets.
The business is also making a £10m investment in the south of the island with a new distillery site and visitor centre at Lagg. Focusing on peated single malts, the Lagg centre will overlook the southern fields and cliffs of the island offering a striking contrast to Lochranza in the mountainous north.
Visitors to Lagg are expected to exceed 62,400 in the first full year (60% of visitors to Lochranza in 2016) rising by 10% per year to 75,504 by 2020. It is projected that by 2020 the number of visitors to both sites will surpass 200,000, resulting in a combined turnover in excess of £2 million.