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Enter Exciseman

Enter Exciseman


Say your prayers, little one…
Enter Exciseman

Well, it looks like a prayer is all that is left to those who a few moments ago missed the launch of the third edition in the Smugglers’ Series, cask strength whiskies in limited editions, released by the Arran Distillery. Alternatively, they might try one of the whisky auction sites, which will most definitely set them back more than the manufacturer’s recommended retail price of £89.99. ON the Arran Distillery website the whisky was available for less than a quarter of an hour, sold one bottle per customer. 

The isle of Arran has always been a natural centre for illegal whisky production. On the one hand, it is close enough to Glasgow to make transport cheap and easy, on the other – the island location of the Arran illicit stills provided protection against the dreaded excisemen. And in any case, one was warned well in time of the approaching danger. 

Smugglers’ Series consists of three whisky editions, manufactured – totally legally for a change – on the island of Arran, commemorating that phenomenon of old. Each of them – The Illicit Stills, The High Seas and The Exciseman – were packed in a box resembling a book in whose pages a whole had been cut to provide a hiding place for a bottle. 

The Exciseman was matured in ex-madeira casks and quarter casks. The application of each is a tribute to the smugglers’ traditions. In the past it was ex-madeira casks that were quite often used by local whisky manufacturers, and the small quarter casks made for easier transport and stashing way, if need be. The current edition was 8,700 bottles, each containing whisky at 56.8% vol.


[Photo: Arran Distillery]

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