I adore October, the dawn of my favourite season. I wait each year to feel the creeping breeze of icy air, warmed by the fading summer sun. However, this October, I was delighted to hear there was work for me in Liverpool. I packed two bags; one for essentials and the other for the whisky. My excitement was unravelling each step I took
closer to the Mersey.
I arrived at Lime Street Station and jumped a cab straight to my favourite location in the city. A small church garden, just off of Rumford Place which overlooks the Liver Building and the Princes Dock. I parked myself on a bench overlooking the view, and cracked open the perfect bottle.
The Arran Malt Port Cask Finish. A fantastic aroma of strawberry jam, peppermint and sticky toffee pudding, with a full bodied pallet of berries, cocoa and ginger, completed with a coated, long finish of tart red wine – similar to a Côtes-du-Rhône. It is bottled at 50%abv, which is a perfect dram for someone looking for a little more adventure.
This single malt originates from a quaint island situated between Campbeltown and Ayr, it sits just off of the gulf stream, allowing the Island to sprout palm trees. I never would’ve thought a palm tree could grow on the Outer Hebrides. The distillery itself is quite young compared to other single malt distilleries. It was founded in 1995, situated in the north of the island at a place called Lochranza, where the water sources were completely untouched and perfect in every way.
Back in the eighteen century, the island had perfect links to Glasgow and the demand for smuggled whisky was on the rise. There was a huge amount of spirit distilling on the Island, there was even some molasses rumoured to being distilled. After the law changed, a distillery ran in Lagg from 1825. However, the closure of the distillery happened in 1837 and the heritage of distilling on the island seemed to be lost forever. Even though the Island was once home to over fifty whisky distilleries, it is now only home to one. The Lochranza Distillery has over 60,000 guests visit it every year. Unfortunately, I am yet to visit.
I have heard amazing stories of a bike track which completely encompasses the shore of the island. I can picture myself gliding through a haven of roaring seas and calm beaches, whilst listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival and attempting to spot the allusive palm trees of Arran. Only to find myself finishing the trail with a dram of my favourite Island Malt. Arran Port Cask Finish.
But for the meantime, Liverpool is pretty gorgeous this time of year.