A special Arran proposal!
Arran friend and White Stag Thomas Davie, a Scot based in New York, tweeted us a couple of months ago with a beautiful photo of him and his brand new fiancee Justine at our water source Loch na Davie. We just had to find out more from him! Thomas takes the story up here....
"Location, location, location – as true for proposals as it is for homes. Justine and I met whilst working for our respective armed forces in Afghanistan; Justine, as a public affairs officer for the US Marine Corps and me as an aide de camp for a British General based in Helmand Province in south west Afghanistan. For a variety of reasons including our military careers, we had both moved around a great deal and it wasn’t until some years later we were able to live together in New York that we were both in the same place at the same time.
For that reason, the location of asking the question seemed particularly symbolic and I wanted to choose a place that had significance. My family can trace its ancestry back to the Isle of Arran, and at home we have a portrait of a many-greats grandfather who had farmed at Machrie. My own grandfather also worked on the island for a long time meaning we’d visited on holiday as a family a number of times, on one occasion making the trip up to Loch na Davie. When both Justine and I were invited to a wedding at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, I knew this was the moment and set about planning the itinerary for a west coast road trip.
We flew from New York to stay at my parent’s house outside Edinburgh where, with a small deception plan from my sister, I was able to collect the ring from the jeweller, having spent the previous few weeks emailing back and forth. First stop on the itinerary was the standing stones at Machrie, before spending the night at Brodick. We were up early the next morning to sample Arran cheese and call in to Arran Arromatics before heading up to Lochranza for the distillery tasting tour - not a bad way to spend a Monday morning! We had a great tour with much mention being made of Loch na Davie as the water source for the distillery - the dram at the start was a welcome remedy to calm the nerves!
With the distillery’s inputs and outputs both well covered we headed up the hill towards the Loch with the sun mostly shining and only the occasional shower that did the little to dampen the enthusiasm, although some exceptionally boggy parts on the path did their best! I was pleased to see that the eagles-in-residence were flying above the crag - in what I took to be a good omen - as we set off . Following the river up the glen we reached the top and then the tricky part - trying to find a small dry patch for my right knee! I was unsuccessful, but as I was retrieving our packed lunches from my bag, I produced the ring in its box, got down on one knee and asked the question. She said yes! I had carried a small bottle of Champagne to the top, so we popped the cork and enjoyed the solitude and the view and toasted our engagement.
We headed back down to the distillery and took a detour via the gift shop for a small water jug - an appropriate memento for the Loch’s water and something that we hope will accompany us on our journey together and hopefully outlast a few bottles of whisky to come!"
We are delighted for Thomas and Justine and wish them both very many very happy years together with wonderful memories of shared adventures together. We have already been heralded as Best Distillery Visitor Experience and Oustanding Contributor to Wine & Spirits Tourism - how about Most Romantic Distillery Setting?!
Thanks once again to our White Stag community for getting in touch and sharing your whisky stories with us. Keep them coming!