Arran stop for rowing brothers helping turn whisky into water

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Lochranza Distillery and a number of distilleries across the west coast of Scotland, have welcomed a trio of ocean rowers who visited to collect bottles of whisky in aid of charity

The initiative is part of their training for the 2019 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge by the BROAR team – Scottish brothers Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan MacLean – who are raising money to provide clean water for thousands of the poorest people in Madagascar.

Arriving on Arran from Kintyre last Thursday the team made their first stop at the Isle of Arran Distillery in Lochranza the following day, before making their way to Campbeltown. Over the last 10 days, they visited most of the 17 distilleries which agreed to donate whisky to the cause, including Talisker on Skye, via Islay, Jura, Crinan, Oban, Mull and Ardnamurchan.

The 300-mile route will help prepare the brothers for their 3,000-mile transatlantic challenge at the end of the year, when they hope to become the first three brothers and youngest trio to row any ocean.

The donated whisky will be blended by a team of experts, led by their father, whisky writer and star of film The Angels’ Share Charles MacLean. This unique and limited edition ‘BROAR Blend’ will be sold to fund life-saving fresh water boreholes, delivered by Argyll-based charity Feedback Madagascar.

Middle brother Jamie said: ‘Whisky for Water represents a fantastic opportunity to train on some of the most challenging stretches of water on the Atlantic seaboard, which will prepare us to some extent for what we expect to face in six months’ time.

‘Rowing through the third largest whirlpool in the world; the Corryvreckan will be a highlight and certainly a good test.’

Managing director of Feedback Madagascar, Jamie Spencer said: ‘We all take clean water for granted, but only 14 per cent of the rural population of Madagascar has access to it.

‘We are delighted to have the boys on side for this lifesaving adventure and for just £10 – the price of a couple of drams – you can give the gift of clean water for a lifetime by texting W4WATER to 70191.’

The whisky ‘pillage’ was originally devised by locals at Lagavulin Distillery on Islay in 2003. They rowed round the island and collected bottles of malt whisky, which were then blended and sold for local charities. By 2010 the ‘pillage’ included a row to Bushmills in Ireland and up to Tobermory.

The BROAR brothers prepare to set off from Claonaig towards Arran. NO_B32BROAR01

The brothers, who are also keen musicians, perform at the Ormidale Hotel. NO_B32BROAR02

The rowers are hoping to become the first three brothers and youngest trio to row any ocean. NO_B32BROAR03