Isle of Arran Distillers on the hunt for official poem for new distillery

Liquid poetry

The Isle of Arran Distillers have launched a competition to find the official poem for their Lagg Distillery. The winning entry will take pride of place onsite at the new distillery that is due to open in the Spring of 2019. Budding writers have been tasked with producing a poem that beautifully captures the Isle of Arran’s history, landscape or, quite simply, spirit – whisky or otherwise.

The closing date for entries is Friday 14 December and the winner and two runners up will beannounced on Burns Night, Friday 25 January 2019. As well as having their poem immortalised at the Lagg Distillery, the winning entry will be exclusively published in Scottish Field magazine, the official media partner for the competition. The winning poet will also be invited to the official opening of the new Lagg Distillery & Visitor Centre in Spring of next year. The two runners up will receive an exclusive Lagg Distillery goodie bag.

The Isle of Arran Distillers have assembled an expert judging panel that will mull over each entry. Judges include Hamish Whyte, honorary research fellow in the Department of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University, Jim Carruth, Poet Laureate of Glasgow since 2014, Rachel McCormack, a renowned chef and author of Chasing the Dram, Kenny Smith, editor at Scottish Field, Graham Omand, the Lagg Distillery manager, and Faye Waterlow, the Lagg Visitor Centre manager. Speaking about the competition, Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers, said: “We’re thrilled to launch this competition to help celebrate the opening of our new Distillery. To us, whisky is liquid poetry and we want to include this spirit at Lagg. “The judges and I are very excited to read the work that is inspired by the island and the ‘Arran Waters’. Who knows, we might uncover the next big literary talent! It’s also very fitting to coincide the announcement of the winning poem with Burns Night. At the Isle of Arran Distillers, we are proud to be the only whisky-maker to have a dram that’s officially endorsed by The World Robert Burns Federation.”

All entries can be submitted to Scottish Field magazine by emailing Kenny Smith at with the subject ‘Isle of Arran Distillers – Poetry Competition’. Entrants will also need to include in their name, contact information and date of birth as this competition is only open to those over the age of 18.

Poems can also be submitted by post using the following address:

Kenny Smith
Scottish Field
496 Ferry Road,

Please be sure to also include within your entry letter your name, your contact information and your date of birth.

Terms and conditions for the competition can be found on the Scottish Field and Isle of Arran Distillers websites.

The most recent milestone for the Lagg Distillery is the completion of the steelworks. With the structure now in place, the Distillery has begun to take on its distinctive shape, overlooking the south coast of Arran and the Firth of Clyde. The new distillery has been positioned next to fields of barley that provide a portion of the malt currently used in distillation at Lochranza.

Come this autumn the copper pot stills will be installed, followed in early 2019 by the first production run of the new heavily-peated (50ppm) spirit that will become, in time, the flagship Lagg Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

The Isle of Arran Distillers has released 700 of the first casks of this whisky for purchase. Each of casks, priced at £6,000, will remain at the distillery for a minimum of ten years of maturation under the careful eye of the Lagg Distillery team. The casks owners will then have the opportunity to bottle the spirit, complete with a limited-edition Lagg Cask society label, or pay an annual fee to continue the maturation process until the desired age is attained. It is expected that the casks will be laid down in early 2019. No further casks will be made available for sale to the public during the first ten years of production at Lagg.




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