arran remnant renegade signature series edition 1 featured

Arran Remnant Renegade ‘Signature Series’ Edition 1 (2023)

I like Arran. The single malt. The island too. And yet, I tend to overlook Arran Distillery. I have the fondest memories of my first visit and the bottle I bought then. But I’ve rarely bought any bottle since. Probably I should start paying them more attention. Maybe the Arran Remnant Renegade Signature Series Edition 1 is a good place to start.

Last year I spent a week on the Isle of Arran. Of course, I did visit both the Arran distillery at Lochranza and Lagg Distillery, but whisky was secondary. The island is one of my favourite places in Scotland easily. Nature, good food and hospitable people. What more could one ask for? That’s probably why I’m going back in a few months, this time with my best friends and goddaughter. I can’t wait to show them around the island.

Maybe we’ll also drive by Arran Distillery again and say hi to Stewart Bowman, manager of the Lochranza site. We shared a few drams in the warehouses last time, and even if I don’t end up taking my friends there, the drive down from the mountains towards the distillery is simply majestic. We’ll stop at Lochranza Castle and pick up some provisions at the Sandwich Station for a picknick. It’s going to be great.

But you’re not here to read about my holiday plans. You clicked to find out about the Arran Remnant Renegade Signature Series Edition 1. This whisky is a creation of Stewart Bowman, who joined Arran Distillery a few years ago. Since the opening of the distillery in 1995 they’ve held a selection of so-called “remnant casks”, which hold a small amount of leftover whisky from another bottling.

It’s these remnants that form the basis for the Arran Remnant Renegade Edition 1. This single malt is a vatting consisting of whisky distilled just a few years after Arran opened, but also containing whisky as young as 2017. The majority of cask types are ex-sherry hogsheads, ex-sherry butts and ex-bourbon barrels.

What I wonder about with these remnant casks is how literally I should take the backstory. If taken at face value it means some of these casks have been sitting in the warehouses near empty. Lots of headspace and oxygen for the whisky to interact with, much more so than usual.

I can’t imagine they truly left these casks unattended for long. Especially not for two decades or more. I assume the whisky would probably not survive, either dropping way below the 40% threshold or vaporising altogether. I suppose I’ll ask next time I talk to someone from Arran Distillery.

arran remnant renegade signature series edition 1

Arran Remnant Renegade ‘Signature Series’ Edition 1 (46%, OB, 2023)

Nose: A mixture of bright fruits, touches of nougat, toffee, some marzipan and a whiff of almonds. Also whispers of overripe apple, creamy coconut and blossom. Quite candy-esque and sweet at times, but appealing.
Taste: A silky texture with a gentle pinch of white pepper accompanied by zesty citrus, dark caramel, bung cloth and stewed apples. Somewhat leafy and herbaceous too.
Finish: Medium length. Oak spices linger in harmony with tinned apricots and vanilla extract.

Quite a prototypical Arran, which is a good thing, for sure. The mixture of ex-bourbon influence and former sherry casks, combined with the bright, fruity spirit works really well. Add the silky, creamy mouthfeel and you're left with a proper whisky.

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