To visit our website, you must be of an age at which the purchase and consumption of alcohol is permitted according to the legislation in your country of residence. If there are no laws on this matter then you must be at least 18 years old.

Accept terms and conditions

Alcohol abuse is dangerous to your health. Drink responsibly.

3 Jun 2024

Arran “Malt & Music” Festival: Special bottlings through the years

We’ve been running the Arran Whisky Festival since 2009. Every summer, whisky lovers descend on this beautiful island of ours to dance, drink and laugh together. 

Many traditions have emerged over the years: The White Stag dinner, our Saturday night ceilidh, and of course, the notorious “survivor’s lunch” to round off the festivities.

In 2012, we started the tradition of bottling a whisky to mark the occasion. Every year since then, participants from our Ultimate Masterclass choose the cask that will be bottled as next year’s “Festival Single Cask” dram, and their names are forever commemorated on the gift box.

Later, in 2018, we released the first expression of “The Harmony Collection”. Inspired by the infusion of people and music at the festival, each whisky is a marriage of casks blended together in perfect harmony. We release just 1,000 bottles every year (each in their own miniature guitar case). 

Come with us on a trip down memory lane and visit some of our festival bottlings through the years…

Malt & Music Festival 2023

Arran Harmony Edition Volume 6

Harmony Vol 6 2023The Harmony Edition Volume 6 is a single malt matured in two casks. Our then-new Distillery Manager, Stewart Bowman, chose a sherry butt and a ruby port pipe, both from 2012. Decadent notes of red apple, apricot and fudge are impeccably balanced with touches of rich fruit and sweet spices.

Arran Festival 2023 Single Cask

Festival Single Cask 2023

Image source: Scotch Galore

Participants from 2022’s Ultimate Masterclass selected an Arran Single Malt matured in an exceptional Ribera del Duero wine cask as “The Festival Single Cask'' bottling for 2023. The elegant balance of delicate oak, combined with the warmth and depth of the spiced fruit layers makes this a complex and rewarding dram. Orange peel and ginger linger long on the palate, and a splash of water releases vibrant floral notes of orange blossom.

Malt & Music Festival 2022

Arran Harmony Edition Volume 5 Arran Harmony 5 Transparent

Soon to take his final bow as our Master Distiller, James McTaggart artfully blended the Harmony Edition Volume 5 with three casks that are no strangers to Arran Whisky: A bourbon barrel, sherry butt and sherry hogshead. With flavours of toffee, caramel, pear, nuts and warming spices, it’s a well-rounded and perfectly balanced dram—proving that classics are classics for a reason.

“The Malt and Music Festival is a snapshot of our community over a weekend. There’s something fantastic about meeting people from all over the world because of a common appreciation for Arran and Lagg whisky. People have started lifelong friendships at this festival (and two of our members who met at the White Stag Dinner actually ended up getting married)! For us, it’s a chance to meet our community face-to-face and give them these amazing, one-off experiences that really get under the skin of their favourite whisky.” —Jaclyn McKie, our Marketing Manager at Isle of Arran Distillers

Arran Festival 2022 Single Cask

Festival Single Cask 2022Image source: The Whisky Shop

After two years of celebrating at a distance, 2022’s festival felt extra special. In the previous year, we hosted our Ultimate Masterclass online, sending sample packs to our tasting panel ahead of the big day. Together, across borders and oceans, they chose this 2009 Arran Single Malt matured in a sherry hogshead single cask. It’s a rich, malty dram with notes of dark chocolate, stone fruits and frangipane. As it opens up, flavours of aniseed and sweet cherries linger on the palate.

Malt & Music Festival 2021

Arran Harmony Edition Volume 4 

Harmony Vol.4

The Arran Harmony Edition Volume 5 was skilfully blended using Arran Single Malt matured in three distinctive types of cask—sherry hogshead, red wine French oak and ex-port pipe. The resulting whisky is a velvety smooth combination, with notes of berries, nuts and sweet spice. 

Arran Festival 2021 Single Cask 

Festival Single Cask 2021

Image source: Highland Whisky Auctions

In 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic, our festival looked rather different, and like many, we were trying to adjust to the “new normal” as it was called. And so, for this year only, our Festival Single Cask wasn’t chosen by our Ultimate Masterclass tasting panel. Instead, our then-Distillery Manager at Lochranza, David Livingstone, selected one of our precious 1996 sherry hogshead-matured single malts. It’s complex, rounded and satisfying, with a bold, sweet and spicy character—a first-class example of one of our earliest whiskies.

Malt & Music Festival 2020

Arran Harmony Edition Volume 3 

Harmony Vol.3 2020In this third edition, our Master Distiller at the time, James McTaggart, created a complex marriage of sherry hogshead, French puncheon and bourbon barrel casks. The end result? Round, creamy notes of vanilla and cinnamon, with a long-lasting and memorable finish.

Arran Festival 2020 Single Cask

Festival Single Cask 2020Image source: Whisky Hammer

When 2019’s Ultimate Masterclass participants picked this sherry hogshead cask from February 1996, they had no idea of what would come in the next year. But, despite having to host our festival online for the first time in its history, we pulled out all the stops to celebrate our 25th anniversary. This rich and vibrant expression raises a glass to that milestone, with classic sweet notes of honey, cooked apples and vanilla, complemented with hints of black pepper and fiery red chilli. 

Malt & Music Festival 2019

Arran Harmony Edition Volume 2 

Harmony Vol. 2The Harmony Edition Volume 2 was blended in various oak casks—hogsheads, barrels and red wine barriques from France and Italy. On the palate, it has heady notes of apples, raisins and sweet oak, with honey and spice taking the final bow.

Arran Festival 2019 Single Cask

Festival Single Cask 2019

Orchard fruits, toffee and baked apple—just some of the flavour profiles found in this wonderful dram. Our Ultimate Masterclass participants from 2018 selected a sherry hogshead cask from November 1995 (the same year we opened), making it one of the first Arran Whisky casks to reach maturation. 

Malt & Music Festival 2018

Arran Harmony Edition Volume 1 

Harmony Edition Vol.1 pngThis whisky is a tale of three oaks—French oak, Spanish oak and American oak. An Arran Single Malt from 1998, the very first whisky in our beloved Harmony Edition series is a complex, multi-layer dram with notes of green apple, lemon meringue and a hint of vanilla.

Arran Festival 2018 Single Cask

Festival Single Cask 2018

Image source: Whisky Hammer

This beautiful dram, with notes of classic citrus, vanilla and sweet spice, was distilled at Lochranza on the 19th of January 1998 and filled into a bourbon barrel. There, it would slumber until June 2017, when our panellists and the Ultimate Masterclass selected it as the celebratory Festival Single Cask for 2018. Only 142 of these bottles were ever released. 

Whisky is often tied to the heritage and traditions of centuries gone by. But with the Arran Whisky Festival, and our limited edition festival bottlings, we like to think we’re making new, modern traditions. And in doing so, building a legacy of friendship, community and of course, a great dram or two. 

We are very much looking forward to welcoming friends, old and new, to the island for this year's Arran Malt & Music Festival at Lagg Distillery on Saturday 29th June 2024. Join our White Stag Community to connect with other Arran Single Malt fans who you might meet there!