James Robertson reviews the maiden whisky from Lagg Distillery on Arran.

LAGG Distillery, the sister distillery owned by Isle of Arran Distillers, has launched its inaugural limited release single malt. A heavily-peated whisky matured in ex bourbon barrels, batch one has been highly anticipated and it does not disappoint.

Lagg is located on the southern tip of Arran and opened in 2019. Lochranza, its sister distillery, is based at the north end of the island and was established in 1995. The success of Lochranza over the years has brought well deserved attention to whisky making on Arran. Graham Ormand, the distillery manager at Lagg, knows all about making whisky on Arran having started at Lochranza as a stillman. Graham said: “It’s every stillman’s dream to be given such an amazing opportunity to manage a beautiful site like Lagg. I am going to make sure it’s a legacy that I’ll be proud to say I helped build. We are delighted to finally announce the very first inaugural single malt release from Lagg.”

The whisky itself has a lovely golden colour. On the label, it states “heavily peated” – for those of you who might be put off by that statement, don’t be. The peat is certainly there on the nose but it’s subtle, with a hint of honeyed barley, oatmeal, and a floral note. To taste, it shows its youth and at 50% there is a bite to it, but there is a robustness to it with that honeyed barley, a touch of baked apple and of course an integrated peat smoke flavour. Add a little water to the whisky and it opens up, with all of those flavours and more but at the same time softening that youthfulness. If this is the first batch from Lagg then I for one look forward to seeing what Graham and his team can produce.

Read more of James’ reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain

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