Arran’s water of life (and poetry)

No Burns supper is complete without Scotland's national drink, and the island offers the perfect accompanying dram

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Arran’s water of life (and poetry)

It's no surprise that the land of Robert Burns remains synonymous with the love of good whisky. The area is home to one of the country's few remaining independent whisky distillers, Isle of Arran distillery, and the local connection makes it a popular choice of whisky at Burns celebrations.

Established relatively recently in 1995, Isle of Arran Distillers now has a core range of single malts, blends, limited edition bottlings including ‘the Devils Punchbowl’ and a cream liqueur called ‘Arran Gold’. It is their 14-year-old Arran Malt however that Ayrshire whisky expert, Robin Russell, of Robbie's Drams in Ayr, recommends as a local whisky to serve with haggis. With flavours of chocolate, orange and spiced tea cake, Russell says it makes for a perfect drink for toasting Scotland’s national poet.

In an area steeped in history about Burns, who himself was fond of a dram, it’s fitting that Isle of Arran Distillers are patrons of the Robert Burns World Federation. In recognition of this and as a toast to the great man himself, the distillers have created a Robert Burns Collection. As a former exciseman in an area famous for its illicit whisky trade, Burns might well have penned an ode to this.

Arran Distillery

Lochranza, Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire, KA27 8HJ

One of the few remaining independent distilleries in Scotland, Isle of Arran Distillers is based at Lochranza. There were over 50, mostly illegal, distilleries on the island in the 19th century. Isle of Arran is now the only one, after production…

Robbie's Drams

3 Sandgate, Ayr, KA7 1BG

Founded in 1984 then overhauled and re-launched in 2003, Robbie’s Drams is one of Ayr’s leading whisky shops. It’s an independently run family business stocking hundreds of single malts, blends, grain whiskies and bourbons from all over the world (but…

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