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Bruichladdich

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BRUICHLADDICH
Aged 10 years
40 %                                
Distilled and Bottled by                                              
Bruichladdich Distillery Co. Ltd
Bruichladdich Isle of Islay

BRUICHLADDICH
Aged 15 years
40 %              
Distilled and Bottled by
Bruichladdich Distillery Co. Ltd
Bruichladdich Isle of Islay

BRUICHLADDICH  
Aged 21 years
43 %               
Distilled and Bottled by
Bruichladdich Distillery Co. Ltd
Bruichladdich Isle of Islay

BRUICHLADDICH  
ged 10 years
43%               
Matured in Sherry Casks
Distilled, Matured and Bottled by
Bruichladdich Distillery Co. Ltd
Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay

BRUICHLADDICH   
35 years old
40,5 %           
THE OLD MALT CASK
Special Cask Strenght
Single Cask Bottling
Distilled January 1966
Bottled February 2001
228 Bottles
No Chill Filtration
No Colouring
Bottled at Natural Cask Strenght
Douglas Laing & Co, Ltd, Glasgow

BRUICHLADDICH  
37 years old
40,5%   
PEERLESS
A Unique Whisky of Distinction
Fons et Origo DTC
Cask Strenght
date distilled 01.1966
cask no. 2023
date bottled 02.2003
190 bottles
genummerde flessen
Duncan Taylor & Co

BRUICHLADDICH  
Aged 10 years
46 %      
INFO       
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
First Edition
Bottled: 2001
60% American Oak
40 % Refill Sherry Cask
'Clachan a Choin'
Distilled & Matured at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH  
Fifteen Aged years
46 %       
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
First Edition
Bottled: 2001
85% American Oak
15 % first fill Olorose Sherry Cask
'Clachan a Choin'
Distilled & Matured at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH  
Twenty Aged years
46 %          
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
First Edition
Bottled: 2001
100%  fresh American Oak
'Clachan a Choin'
Distilled & Matured at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay
Tasting notes:

BRUICHLADDICH  
46%                  
INFO
XVII
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
First Edition
Bottled: 2002
100%  fresh American Oak
'Clachan a Choin'
Distilled & Matured at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH   
18 years old
46 %        
INFO
1984
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
First Edition
Distilled 1984
Bottled 2002
Fino, Oloroso & Bourbon Casks
Matured Distilled & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH   
32 years old
47,5%      
BLACK BRUICHLADDICH
Distilled 24. May 1969
Bottled March 2002
Cask Strenght
Sherry Cask
Cask No. 2330
Genummerde flessen
Limited Edition
No Chill Filtration
No Colouring
Imported by:
Jack Wiebers Whisky World

BRUICHLADDICH   
32 years old
44,2 %            
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
Distilled 1970
Bottled 2002
First Edition
100 % American Oak Casks
Distilled & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH   
12 years old
46%               
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
Bottled: 2003
Non Chill-Filterd
No Colouring
Distilled, Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHALDDICH   
13 years old
57,1 %        
1989
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
(FULL STRENGHT)
Distilled: 1989
Bottled: 2002
Non Chill-Filterd
No Colouring
Islay Bottled
Distilled, Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHALDDICH   
14 years old
46 %         
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED
ISLAY MALT LINKS
'The Old Course St. Andrews'
Limited Edition
Bottled: 2003
Genummerde flessen
12000 Bottles
Distilled, Matured & Bottled in
The Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay.

BRUICHLADDICH   
37 years old
41,8%         
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
LEGACY SERIES TWO
'Loch Indaal from Port Charlotte'
Bottled in 2003
Genummerde flessen
1500 Bottles
Distilled, Matured & Bottled in
The Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay.

BRUICHLADDICH   
Twenty Aged Years
46 %     
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
SECOND EDITION
FLIRTATION

Finished in Mourvèdre Wine Casks
from Rivesaltes
Distilled, Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH   
12 years old
44 %   
THE SECRET
TREASURES OF SCOTLAND
SINGLE CASK - SINGLE MALT

ISLAY SCOTCH WHISKY
This product was originally
distilled on 15th June 1989
Cask No. 1662
Especially selected by A. Rickards,
Master Blender
Numbered Bottles
378 Bottles
Imported by S. Fassbind AG, Oberath
The Moray Malt Whisky Ltd, Edinburgh

BRUICHLADDICH  
50 %     
INFO         
3 D
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
THE PEAT PROPOSAL
SECOND EDITION
MOINE MHOR

Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
3 Peat  levels
3 diverse cellars
3 distinct eras

THE LADDY
Bottled: 2004
Non Chill Filtered
No Colouring
'Clachan a Choin'
Distilled, Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH
46 %                 
INFO
3 D
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
THE PEAT PROPOSAL
3 Peat levels
3 origins
3 eras

Handcrafted
Caramel free
Non chill - filtered
Uniquely bottled on Islay
using Islay spring water
Independent Limited Edition
12000 Numbered Bottles
Distilled, Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH  
55,5 %              
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
INFINITY
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
CASK STRENGHT
100 % REFILL SHERRY CASKS
SUPERB VATTING OF THREE DIFFERENT VINTAGES
Non Chili Filtering
No Colouring
'Clachan a Choin'
Distilled, Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH  
46 %               
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
ROCKS
ATLANTIC FRESHNESS
THE ROCK OF AGES

Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Non Chill Filtered
No Colouring
'Clachan a Choin'
Distilled, Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH    
14 years old
46 %      
INFO     
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
W M D - 11 -
THE YELLOW SUBMARINE
1991

Distilled  1991
'Clachan a Choin'
Distilled,  Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH    
Aged 33 years
40,9 %             
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
LEGACY SERIES FIVE
'The Ebb Slips from the Rocks, Port Bhan'
by Frances Macdonald

1690 Numbered Bottles
No Chill Filtration
No Colouring
'Clachan A Choin'
Distilled, Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH   
Aged 20 years
50,7%    
INFO
1986
BLACKER STILL

CASK STRENGHT
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 1986
Matured in sherry casks
Bottled 2006
Non Chill-Filtered
Colouring free
2840 Numbered Bottles
Distilled, Matured and Bottled
on Islay at Bruichladdich, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH    
35 years old
40,1 %       
125 YEARS OF BRUICHLADDICH
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
125th ANNIVERSARY BOTTLING
1881 - 2006
VINTAGE 1970
Matured in Bourbon Casks
and then given an additional cask evolut
in Zind Humbrecht's 'Selection de
Grains Noble' Pinot Gris casks
Limited Edition
Numbered Bottles
2502 Bottles
Cask Strenght
No Chill Filtration
No Colouring
Distilled, Matured and Bottled on Islay
at Bruichladdich, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH  
46 %                 
INFO
THE SOPHISTICATED ISLAY MALT
THE PEAT PROPOSAL
THIRD EDITION
THE NORRIE CAMPBELL TRIBUTE BOTTLING

Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
3 D 3
3 VINTAGES
3 WAREHOUSES
3 PEATING LEVELS
THE HEAVILY PEATED: 3 D 3

Bottled 2006
Non Chill Filtered
No Colouring
'Clachan a Choin'
Distilled, Matured & Bottled at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH    
14 Jahre alt
50.2 %   
INFO
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Sherry Cask Finish
VORHER
Keinerlei Zusatz von Farbstoffen
Nicht kältegefiltert
200 ml abgefüllt
Handabgefüllt von Klaus Pinkernell
Eigentümer, am 01.03.07 Berlin

BRUICHLADDICH     
14 Jahre alt  
50.2 %      
INFO
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
HERRING   CASK   FINISH
FISHKY
Salted Herring

Keinerlei Zusatz von Farbstoffen
Nicht kältegefiltert
200 ml abgefüllt
Handabgefullt von Klaus Pinkernell
Eigentümer, am 01.03.07 Berlin

BRUICHLADDICH  
X   4
50 %      
INFO          
QUADRUPLE  DISTILLED
BRUICHLADDICH  NEW  SPIRIT

From an original 1695 recipe
Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay

BRUICHLADDICH     
Aged 6 years
63,5 %    
INFO                     
SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
FROM  A  SINGLE  CASK
Distilled July 2002
1 of only 259 bottles
Society Single Cask No: 23.62
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the Vaults
Leith, Edinburgh
A feisty tongue - fizzer

BRUICHLADDICH    
46 %     
INFO
2 0 0 3
ORGANIC
ANNS  AN  T -  SEANN  DOIGH

Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Natural whisky: Distilled, Matured and Bottled
Un - Chill Filtered and Colouring free at
Bruichladdich Distillery, Isle of Islay
Progressive Hebridean Distillers

BRUICHLADDICH   
Matured for 20 years  
46 %            
THE  ULTIMATE  SINGLE  
MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
Distilled: 03 / 04 / 92
Matured in a Hogshead
Cask no: 1383
Bottled: 03 / 04 / 12
315 Numbered Bottles
Selected by The Ultimate Whisky Company, NL
Bottled in Scotland

BRUIDCHLADDICH  
46 %
1 9 9 2
Matured for 20 years                                   
Islay Single Malt
THE  ULTIMATE  SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
Distilled: 25/11/92
Matured in a Hogshead
Cask no: 3690
Bottled: 03/06/13
372 Numbered Bottles
Natural colour
Non Chill Filtered
Selected by The Ultimate Whisky Company.NL

BRUIDCHLADDICH
50 %                                                    
SCOTTISH  BARLEY
THE  CLASSIC  LADDIE
UNPEATED  ISLAY  SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
07 August 2013
Distilled, matured and Bottled
Un - Chill Filtered and Colouring - Free
At Bruichladdich Distillery
Islay of Islay

BRUICHLADDICH
2 0 0 6
Aged 6 years  
50 %                                                            
KYNAGARRY  FARM    
ACHABA, ACHFAD  FIELDS                        
SECOND  EDITION

UNPEATED  ISLAY  SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
Bruichladdich Islay Single Malt
Progressive  Hebridean Distillers
Travel Retail Exclusive 15.600 Bottles
Distilled, Matured and Bottled
Un - Chill Filtered and Colouring Free
At Bruichladdich Distillery,
Isle of Islay

It is our mission to pursue The Ultimate Pedigree, Provenance and Traceability of our
Raw Materials - chief of which is our Barley - and to push The Boundaries of the
Concept of Terroir in Artisanal Single Malt Whisky.

A uniquely fascinating exploration of the influence of terroir on artisanal single malt whisky.

The "micro - provenance" takes  us far from the usual territory occupied by commercial
distillers. But we believe it's  important - once again, land and dram united.

We believe Terroir Matters

We believe in Islay
We believe in People

We believe
In Authenticity, Provenance and traceability

We believe in Slow
We believe
In Challenging
Convention

We believe in The
Soul of the Artisan

BRUICHLADDICH  2 0 0 6  
Aged 6 years 50 %  
KYNAGARRY  FARM  ACHABA,
ACHFAD  FIELDS
SECOND  EDITION
BRUICHLADDICH  UBER  PROVENANCE  SERIES

Since  we first rescued this fantastic distillery from years of neglect. It has been our mission

to pursue  the ultimate pedrigree provenance and tracebility of our raw materials - chief
of which is our barley - and to push the boundaries of the concept of terroir in artisanal
single malt whisky.

Bere - gramineae hordeum vulgare is the world"s oldest cultivated cereal. It was brought
to the Hebrides by norse invaders in the 9th  century from its ancient origins of the fertile
crescent  where it originated a good five thousand years earlier.

Ideally suited to impoverished, sandy soils and the short hebridean growing season, but
subject to strong winds, it yields less than 50 % of a modern croft - and the bulky grain
has proved quite exceptionally. Resistant to milling and mashing, wreaking havoc with
our victorian equipment - truly viking  D N A!

This is the barley that produced the original "Usque - Baugh"the water of live - the grain
and the knowledge of distilling it. Carried on viking lon longboat from Mesopotamia via
the black sea and the mighty rivers of eastern europe to the baltic. Thence to norway,
orkney  and finally to the heabrides, 1200 years of distilling in a bottle.

"Once again Land and Dram united"

Jim McEwan Head Distiller

BRUICHLADDICH
BERE  BARLEY  2 0 0 8
WEYLAND  &  WATERSIDE,  RICHMOND  VILLA,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
SKELBISTER  AND  NORTFIELD  FARMS,  ORKNEY
50 %
Est. 1881
Travel Retail Exclusive
Unpeated  Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Orkney Bere Barley
‘Once again Land and Dram united
Jim McEwan Head Distiller
Distilled, Matured and Bottled Un Chill – Filtered and Colouring Free
at Bruichladdich Distillery Isle of Islay

Since we first resurrected this fantastic distillery from years of neglect. It has been our mission
to persuethe ultimate pedigree provenance and traceability of our raw materials – chief of
which is our Barley – and to push the boundaries of the concept of terroir in artisanal single
malt whisky.

Bere is an ancient Barley Landrace. Discoveries of similar grains in the Neolithic village of                                                                                                                                                                                                
Skara Brae on Orkney, reach back to the dawn of scottish agriculture and civilisation more
than 45.00 years ago.

Bruichladdich uber Provenance series.
In spite of the cool Orkney climate Bere grows fast, it has long straw prone to brackling in strong winds, and                                                                                                                                                                       
produces desperately low yields - 50 % less than a modern grop. The small starch –
rich grains have tested the mashmen. Wreaking havoc with our precious Victorian equipment.

This is Spirit from another place and time. A sensory Journey to another age> It is probable that
Bere produced the original  ‘Úisgebeatha’. The Water  of Live – for hundreds of years it was used
by enterprising  scottish distillers producing both legal and illicit whisky.

This 2007 crop was grown on Orkney and supplied by The Agronomy Institute at Orkney College
uhi working with the following  local  farmers: Duncan Cromarty at Richmond Villa on South
Ronaldsay, Keith Hourton  at Skelbister in Orphir and Magnus Spence from  The Northfield on
Burray.

Distilled in Febrary 2008 at Bruichladdich Distilleryon the Isle of Islay. This Bere Barley has
produced a single malt of quite singular character . Ultimate orginality and exceptional
provenance.

We believe terroir matters

We believe in Islay
We believe in people

We believe
in authecity, provenance and traceability

we believe in slow
we believe in challenging convention

We believe in the soul of the artisan

BRUICHLADDICH
Est. 1881
PROGRESSIVE  HEBRIDEAN  DISTILLERS
UNPEATED  ISLAY  SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
2 0 0 9  50 %
ISLAY  BARLEY
CLAGGAN,  CRUACH, ISLAND  AND  MULINDRY  FARMS
Islay Barley 2009 Edition
“Once again, Land and Dram united”.
Uber Provenance Islay Barley Series
Distilled, Matured and Bottled Un-Chillfiltered and Colouring Free
at Bruichladdich Distillery, Isle of Islay

It is our mission to persue the ultimate pedigree, provenance and traceability of our raw
materials – chief of which is our barley – and to push the boundaries of the concept of
terroir in artisanal single malt whisky.

We have a passionate belief in our barley. No mere commodity.It is the essential raw
material of single malt whisky – from this cereal the most flavour complex spirit in the
world is made. For us it is the living expression of the land that gave birth to it. Of the
terroir that influences its growth and of the men who nurtured it.

A uniquely fascination exploration of the influence of terroir on single malt whisky. This
“uber – provenance” takes us far from the usual territory occupied by commercial dis –
tillers, but we believe it’s important once again land and dram united.

A steadily increasing number of the island’s farmers have risen tot the challenge since the pioneering day’s of                                                                                                             
2004 mutually supportive and often sharing equipment and  know how.
They have shouldered the risk and  brought the harvest home. They can be justly proud of their archievements.

This 2009  vintage was distilled from grain in 2008 by Gilbie Maccormick of Claggan, Hunter
Jackson at Cruach, Ian Mckerrell of Island and Alastair Torrance from Mulindry. These farms
are centrally located on the island providing a very different terroir to the wild maritime lo-
cation of our 2007 release from Rockside.

Every year is different each fresh vintage a new chapter in the unfolding story. A cool, dry
spring in 2008 gave way to a warm summer with plenty of sunshine to ripen the grain but
long days of early september rain delayed things for a while. Then there was the exitement
as the combines finslly started to roll.

The varieties planted were publican and oxbridge. Not the highest yielding grains but highly
regarded by the malsters. The spirit run was muscular and clean while in the glas the whisky
exhibits the colour of golden hay with the nose and palate to transport you to our hebridean
island home.

We believe in islay / we believe in people / we believe in authenticity, provenance and trace –
ability / we believe in slow / we believe in challenging convention / we believe in the soul of
the artisan.

BRUICHLADDICH
Est. 1881
PROGRESSIVE  HEBRIDEAN  DISTILLERS
UNPEATED  ISLAY  SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
2 0 1 0   
6 year old 50 %
ISLAY  BARLEY
COULL, CRUACH, DUNLOSSIT,  ISLAND, MULINDRY,
ROCKSIDE, STARCHMILL &  SUNDERLAND  FARMS
Islay Barley 2010 Edition
“Once again, land and Dram united”
Uber Provenance Islay Barley Series
Distilled, Matured and Bottled, Un – Chillfiltered and
Colouring Free at Bruichladdich Distillery, Isle of Islay.

This is a thought – provoking uber provenance single malt whisky. It was created
with spirit trickle distilled from barley grown in the fields of our remote scottish
island home. For us it is the land incarnate our passionate belief in the power of
terroir made manifest.

Islay is a land of family farms and the men and women who till the soil. Here have
shouldered significant  risks to join us on an inspirational journey of sensory ex –
ploration. This is a spirit that captures their work and speaks of the earth. Trough
their labour, land and dram are united.

Every year the crops that bend toatlantic storms alongside the farmers  traditional
herds of rugged beef cattle are distilled separately at our manually operated vic –
torian  distillery. This generates a sequence of individual whisky vintages that are
very different to industrially homogenised brands.

Our harsh climate and salt – soaked hebridean soils mean that yields per acre are
always low. But the challenge , the exitement draws new adventurers every year.
In 2009 we were joined by Andrew Jones, Hunter Jackson, Raymond Fletcher, Ian
Mckerrell, Alastair Torrange, Mark French, Ian Torrance  and Raymond Stewart.

A cold dry spring helped with sowing barley varities Optic and Oxbridge but strong
growth through a gentle June and July was treathened  by relentless August rain.
As the grain slowly ripened flocks of wild geese took their toll alongside herds of
red deer. Miraculously the clouds then rolled away and a warm dry September
allowed the combines to roll.

The spirit ran clean and rich and  malty from our tall narrow – necked stills before
being filled into ex – Bourbon casks and matured in our  warehouses by Loch Indaal.
It is bottled at six years old to preserve the nuances of the grain and celebrate the
fascinating characteristics of this evocative single harvest.

We believe in islay / we believe in people / we believe in authenticity, provenance and
traceability / we believe in slow / we believe in challenging convention / we believe
in the soul of the artisan.

BRUICHLADDICH
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
PROGRSSIVE  HEBRIDEAN  DISTILLERS
THE  ORGANIC  2 0 0 9
UNPEATED
50 %
MID  COUL  FARMS,  DALCROSS
High Provenance Single Estate Organic Barley
Certified Organic by the Biodynamic                                                                                                                                  
Agricultural Association
Conceived, Distilled, Matured and Bottled
Un – Chillfiltered and Colouring Free at
Bruichladdich Distillery Isle of Islay

Adam Hannett Head Distiller.

Mid Coul Farms, Dalcross. Farmer: William Rose.

Mid Coul has been farmed by the Rose family since 1912. Now entirely Organic. This
progressive 2.755 Acre Estate has a closed – loop fertility system that generates
electricity using an anaerobic digester while allowing almost all waste material to be
recycled as fertilizer.

Bruichladdich Barley Provenance Series

Since day one at Bruichladdich the intEgritty and provenance of our barley has been
paramount. This series explores the esoteric diversity of our essential raw material.

The whisky we distill from the Organic Barley of Mid Coul reflects the complex natural                                  
flavours of the landscape, just as our stillmen refuse to abandon the traditional crafts
of distillation in favour of automation or industrialization, so farmer William Rose
rejects the use of herbicides, pesticides and artificial fertilisers.

Crop rotation is key, our Barley must take its turn in a seven year farm cycle that also
produces  Organic cattle sheep, oats, beans, grass, carrots, market gardening and a
megawatt of green electricity. Respecting the land, the soil and the climate nourishes
a genuine and thorough understanding of terroir and the results are pure Bruichladdich.

Rich complex and a fascinating expression of provenance we can sense, feel and taste.
The results in the glass. Once again land and dram united.

BRUICHLADDICH
26 Glorious years old
X  O  P
xtra  old  particular
48.0 %
Natural Cask Strenght
Islay Region
From One Single Cask
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled at
Bruichladdich Distillery
Distilled October 1991
Bottled November 2017
N0 III  of  only  301
Hand Filled Bottles
One Refill Hogshead
DL12259
No Colouring
& No Chill – Filtration
Distilled, Matured & Bottled in
Scotland
Speiclally Selected from the
Douglas Laing & Co.  Vaults
Douglas Laing & Co. Ltd
Glagow. Est 1948

Islay
BRUICHLADDICH (1881 - 1929) (1936 - 1994) (2000

Bruichladdich werd gebouwd in 1881 door de broers John Gourlay, Robert en William Harvey, het geld voor de onderneming kwam van hun vader William Harvey Jr, eigenaar van de Yoker en Dundashill distilleerderijen.Het was een periode van enorme expansie voor de Schotse whiskyindustrie, blended whiskies werden over de gehele wereld gedronken en dit leidde tot de bouw van nieuwe distilleerderijen.
Maar de omslag kwam al aan het eind van de vorige eeuw, het publiek begon om lichtere whiskies te vragen en de whiskies van Islay werden minder gevraagd door de blenders. De jaren van grote expansie kwamen ten einde, en ingeluid door het bankroet van de Pattisons te Leith in December 1898 de gehele markt inelkaar stortte. De gevolgen waren enorm, veel distilleerderijen sloten, makelaars, blenders, handelaren en banken gingen bankroet.

Het aandelenkapitaal van Bruichladdich Distillery Co. (Islay) Ltd was in 1886 £ 24.000.

Waren er in 1899 161 distilleerderijen in Schotland, waren dit er in 1908 nog 132.

De Distillers Company Ltd, (D.C.L.) gevormd in 1877 door het samengaan van distilleerderijen in de Lowlands, saneerden de whiskyindustrie gedurende de volgende jaren, door distilleerderijen op te kopen, deze te sluiten en de gigantische whiskyvoorraden langzaam af te bouwen.

De Harveys werden in 1901, gedurende de depressie na de Boerenoorlog in Zuid-Afrika, benaderd door de D.C.L. om hunDundashill distilleerderij, die juist was omgebouwd tot een patent - still distilleerderij, over te nemen.

De Harveys weigerden en sloten Dundashill en verkleinden hun belang in de Yoker distilleerderij, tot die in 1906 werd gesloten.
In 1903 werden de Harveys overgenomen door de D.C.L.Bruichladdich sloot in 1929
.
In 1937 werden de Harveys uitgekocht door Joseph Hobbsvoor £ 23.000. Joseph Hobbs, een Schot, had een fortuin verdiend en verloren tijdens de Amerikaanse drooglegging Hij was een tijd lang de verkoopagent van de Distillers Company Limited voor Canada .Ook had hij een schip, de Littlehorn, dat een keer 130.000 kisten Teachers whisky ververvoerde van Antwerpen naar San Francisco.
Joseph Hobbs voorzag dat er eens een einde zou komen aan de drooglegging in Amerika, en met geldelijke hulp vanNational Distillers of Amerika, die via hun blending firmaTrain & Mclntyre, die een dochteronderneming bezaten inAssociated Scottish Distillers, distilleerderijen op gingen kopen, om te profiteren van de verwachte vraag naar Schotse whisky na de drooglegging. Compagnons van Joseph Hobbswaren Hatim Attari, een financier en Alexander Tomie.

Het uiteindelijke resultaat was dat Glenury Royal, Glenlochy, North Esk, (Old) Fetter-cairn, Benromach, Strathdee, Ben Nevis en Bruichladdich in hun bezit kwamen.
Bruichladdich was gedurende de tweede wereldoorlog tot1944 gesloten.

In 1952 werd Bruichladdich verkocht aan de whiskymakelaars Ross and Coulter.

De Distillers Company Ltd
nam Train & Mclntyre in 1953over.

In 1960 werden de blenders A.B. Grant te Glasgow de eigenaars van Bruichladdich, die de distilleerderij moderniseerden en uitbreidden.

In 1969 werd A.B. Grant's Bruichladdich Proprietors Ltdovergenomen door Invergordon Distillers Ltd.

De Invergordon graandistilleerderij werd in 1961 gebouwd door Frank Thomson, een kleurrijk en extrovert figuur met als doel werkgelegenheid te brengen in dit deel van Schotland.
Naderhand traden tot de onderneming toe Charles Craig enChris Greig, die The Invergordon Grain Distilleryomvormden tot een onderneming met een veel groter omvang en bereik.

In 1965 werd in de graandistilleerderij een maltdistilleerderij gebouwd, Ben Wyvis.
In 1966 werd Tamnavulin gebouwd, Bruichladdich werd in 1969 overgenomen en Tullibardine en Deanston in1972.
In 1984 werd R. Morrison & Co Ltd overgenomen, de makers van Glayva whiskylikeur.
In 1985 werd Charles Mackinlay & Co, Ltd gekocht van Scottish & Newcastle Breweries. In die overname behoorden ook de twee maltdistilleerderijen Isle of Jura enGlenallachie.
De laatste werd gesloten en wat later verkocht aan House of Campbell, het eigendom van Pernod Ricard S.A.

The Invergordon Group is ook de eigenaar van Findlater Mackie Todd & Co, Ltd, die international Findlater's Scotch Whisky en Mar Lodge een vatted malt net succes verkopen.

In 1988 was er een management buy-out en in Oktober 1991 was er een mislukt bod van Whyte & Mackay van £ 350.000.000.
In 1961 waren de moutvloeren al gesloten vanBruichladdich en in 1975 werd het aantal met stoom gestookte ketels uitgebreid tot zes, met een capaciteit van 1,1 miljoen liter spirit per jaar.
In 1983, toen veel distilleerderijen (tijdelijk) werden gesloten werd er te Bruichladdich een arbeidstijd verkorting ingevoerd.

Invergordon Distillers werd in 1993 overgenomen doorWhyte & Mackay en Bruichladdich werd gesloten.

Intussen heeft Highland Distillers, ook de eigenaars vanGlen Rothes, maar deze malt whisky op de markt brengt via Berry Bros & Rudd, eigenaren van het merk Cutty Sark,erin toegestemd om de blend Whyte & Mackay ook viaBerry Bros & Rudd, alsmede de single malt whiskies Isle of Jura en Dalmore naast The Famous Grouse en The Macallan te gaan vermarkten.

Op 15 October 1993 sluit American Brands, eigenaar vanWhyte & Mackay zijn jarenlange jacht op Invergordon af met het bekend maken zijn belang in Invergordon te hebben vergroot van 41,2 % tot 54,7 %. Tevens werd een bot uitgebracht op de resterende aandelen.

De geboden prijs waardeert Invergordon op £ 382,4 miljoen is ƒ 1,05 miljard..
De omzet van Invergordon was in 1992 £ 85.000.000, die van Whyte & Mackay £ 150.000.000 in datzelfde jaar
.
Met ingang van 3 Maart worden drie van de vier distilleerderijen van Invergordon gesloten, Bruichladdich, Tullibardine en Tamnavulin.Isle of Jura ontspringt de dans.

Bruichladdich is in Mei en Juni 1998 in produktie geweest.

Op 19 December 2000 wordt Bruichladdich door J B B Greater Europe verkocht aan een groep financiers, waaronder landeigenaren op het eiland Islay, onder leiding vanMurray McDavid Ltd.
Met de aankoop van £ 6,5 miljoen zijn ook de voorraden begrepen van ongeveer 1,4 miljoen liter whisky met als oudste whisky die van het jaar 1964.

De manager wordt de voormalige Brand Ambassador vanBowmore, Jim McEwan, die ook aandeelhouder wordt.
De distilleerderij gaat vier maanden per jaar open, de produktie begint in April 2001 en men gaat produceren op ongeveer 10 % van zijn capaciteit, het resultaat zal ongeveer 200.000 liter alcohol zijn per jaar.
Er zal ook gebotteld worden in de distilleerderij.

Het water komt van een eigen stuwmeer.
De Mash tun is 6.24 ton.
De zes Wash backs zijn elk groot 35.000 liter.
De twee Wash stills zijn elk 11.500 liter, de twee Spirit stills elk 10.500 liter en worden met stoom verhit.
Bruichladdich kan 2.000.000 liter spirit per jaar producer
en.

Distillery operating hours:  5 days a week, 24 hours a day  bottling hall 7 days a week
Number of emplyees: 24 (including part-time emplyees)
Water source: Bruichladdich reservoir (brewing water);                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Bruichladdich burn (cooling water):James Brown's spring (dilution water)   
Water reserve: est. 9 million gallons
Water colour: brown (Bruichladdich reservoir);clear (James Brown's spring)    
Peat content of water:  trace (Bruichladdich reservoir);zero (James Brown's spring)    
Malt source:   Bairds of Inverness (Bruichladdich, Octomore); Port Ellen (Port Charlotte)
Own floor maltings : none
Malt type: Optic and organic Chalice
Malt specification phenols: Bruichladdich 3-4 ppm (8-10 ppm in 2001) Port Charlotte: 40 ppm, Octomore: 68.2 ppm (2002): 129 ppm (2003)
Finished spirit phenols: Bruichladdich: trace Port Charlotte: 20-25 ppm (estimate) Octomore: 29.6 ppm (2002); 46.4 ppm (2003)    
Malt storage: 180 tonnes
Mill type: Boby, installed 1881
Grist storage:  14 tonnes
Mash tun construction : cast-iron; rake and plough
Mash size: 7 tonnes
First water: 24.230 litres at 65o C
Second water: 12.488 litres at 86o C
Third water: 16.775 litres at 88o C
Fourth water:16.775 litres at 93o C
Number of washbacks: 6 (5 operated in 2003)
Washback construction: Oregon pine
Washback charge: 36.000 litres
Yeast:   Quest cultured yeast to start fermentation; Mauri cultured yeast to finish fermentation   
Amount of yeast: 150 kg per washback
Lenght of fermentation : 60 hours (short week);106.5 hours (longs: weekend)     
Initial fermentation: temperature 21o C
Strenght of wash: 6-7 cent abv
Number of wash stills: 2
Wash stills built: 1: base original; rest restored; 2: 1975
Wash still capacity: 17.275 litres each
Wash still charge: 12.000 litres (69 per cent of capacity)
Heat source: pans and single steam coil
Wash still height: c. 21 feet 6 inches (6.55 m)
Wash still shape:plain
Lyne arm: gently descending
Lenght of low-wines run: 4 ½ - 5 hours
Low-wines collection range: average 22.5 per cent
Number of spirit stills: 2
Spirit stills built: 1: late 1940s; 2: 1975
Spirit still capacity: 12.274 litres each
Spirit still charge: 7.100 litres (58 per cent of capacity)
Strenght of spirit still charge: 27 per cent abv
Heat source:pans and two steam coils in each
Spirit still height: c. 20 feet 6 inches (6.25 m)
Spirit still shape: plain (goose-necked)
Lyne arm: gently descending
Purifier: no
Condensers:  four, internally sited: lenght 11 feet 2 inches(3.41 m), containing 210 half inch (1.25 cm) copper tubes   
Lenght of foreshot run: about 40 minutes
Lenght of spirit run: about 3 hours
Lenght of feints run: about 3 hours 10 minutes
Spirit cut: varies: on to spirit at between 76 per cent ab vand 71 per cent abv; off at 64 per cent abv
Distilling strenght :  Bruichladdich 72 per cent Octomore 69-70 per cent Port Charlotte 71 per cent    
Storage strenght :  stored at distilling strenghts
Average spirit yiel: 401 litres of pure alcohol per tonne of malt (2003)   
Disposal of pot ale and spent lees: taken to Caol Ila and piped into Sound of Islay
Type of casks filled for branded malt:  about 65 per cent first-fill boubon barrels; about 25 per cent first-fill sherry hogshead, remainder rum and wine casks   
Current annual output: 320.000 litres of pure alcohol
Number of warehouses:8 (numbered 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14) plus 4 at Port Charlotte (as single unit)  
Type of warehouses: dunnage (most)  and racking (2)
Storage capacity on Islay:35.000 casks
Percentage of branded malt entirely aged on Islay: 100 per cent
Vatting and bottling location: Bruichladdich, Islay       
Distillery expressions: 10- year old 12- year old  Links (14- year old) 15- year old, 17- year old, 20- year old ,Vintage range, Legacy range , Valinch bottlings Babe bottlings    
Major blending roles: Black Bottle

The old lady dances again
...
Bruichladdich, pronounced brook-laddie (meaning shore bank), was built on the shores of Loch Indaal in 1881 by the Harvey brothers, Robert and William.
Scotland's most westerly distillery produces a single malt unlike other Islays. It is more sophisticated, with a fantastic range of flavours. Fruit, with superb vanilla sweetness, plus a sprinkle of sea air and a drift of peat fires all combine to give a complexity to the spirit, whihas made it the most populair single malt with the islanders. Could there be a better endorsement?
The Distillery was closed in 1994 and lay sad and silent untilMark Reynier, Gordon Wright and Simon Coughlin ofMurray McDavid bought it on 19th December 2000. They were joined by the world renowed Jim McEwan, himself an Islander and twice winner of the Distiller of the Year title.
His team of genuine, talented and passionate people restored this classic beaty to her former glory.
The first spirit ran into the Spirit Safe at 8.26 a.m. on 29th May 2001, a day of pride and joy shared by the 3400 islanders.
An historic day! The old lady dances again.

December 2002
The Distilling Team

Jim McEwan, Master Distiller, three times Distiller of the Year, Jim's right-hand man, and Distiller Manager, is Duncan McGillivray who worked at Bruichladdich for 22 years before is was closed by Whyte & Mackay in 1994 and is now in charge of the team of Jonathan Carmichael, Peter McDermid, John Rennie, The Budge and Neil MacTaggart.

Bruichladdich
uses malted barley at a low peat rating of 5 ppm of phenols, Port Charlotte at a heavily peated level of 40 ppm.

The men behind Bruichladdich: Gordon Wright, Simon Coughlin, Andrew Gray, Jim McEwan and Mark Reynier._
Bruichladdich looks difficult to pronounce - try 'brookladdie' (Gaelic for 'hill by the shore').
Built by Branett Harvey in 1881, on the Rhinns coast at the western end of the Hebridean Isle of Islay.
Closed in 1994, rescued 19th December 2000, reopened 29th May 2001. The spirit ran at 8.26 am and the Old Lady danced again !
Islay's only independent Distillery.
A local team, youth and passion alongside talent and experience.
Master Distillers Jim McEwan, an islander and three times Distiller of the Year.
Islay's tallest still necks produce the island's most elegant, sophisticated spirit, no heavy, peaty, medicinal flavours.
Atlantic freshness, the only truly authentic Islay whisky, distilled, matured, and from September 2002 bottled on the island.
Islay spring water is used, a world first, for reduction to the professional's ideal drinking strenght of 46 % volume.
Nothing added, nothing taken away, 100 % natural colour, no caramel to sweeten artificially, darken or standardise.
No chill-filtration, to enhance the flavours and increase the bouquet by leaving natural aromatic oils in plaee.
46 % is the lowest strenght possible for whiskies that are not chill-filtered. Angel's Share:
For a hogshead, at 46 % vol, in 70 cl bottles, after 12 years one would expect around 380 bottles, after 20 years about 290.

Januari 2003
De twintigjarige Bruichladdich is voorlopig uitverkocht en wordt vervangen door de XVII.
De Vintage 46 % 1984 wordt uitgebracht, een Vintage 1970met 44,2 %, een Vintage 1983 en 1984 allebei in een stenen kruik en een 36 jaar oude Bruichladdich uit 1966 'Legacy'met op het etiket en blik een tekening van de kunstenares Francis MacDonald.
Er komt ter gelegenheid van het feit dat de eerste spirit 's morgens 8.26 uit de ketels kwam, de naam '8.26'. Jaargang1983, vatnummer 1330.
Jim McEwan heeft samen met het blad Country Magazin een1986 uitgezocht, terwijl Malcolm Greenwood ook een vat heeft mogen uitzoeken, dat werd een 18 jaar oude Bruichladdich uit 1984, waaruit 500 flessen werden afgevuld, deze whisky kreeg de naam Bruichladdich Enlightement waarbij een herdruk van het voor de eerste maal in 1718verschene boek 'Practical Distiller - Treatise of Practical Distillation'.
De nieuwe bottel afdeling is in bedrijf genomen.
In October 2002 kwam de eerste zwaar geturfrookte spirit uit de ketels, die wordt te zijnertijd uitgebracht met de naamOctomore.

27 September 2003
'Londen: De Amerikaanse paranoia over terrorisme kent geen grenzen. Zelfs Schotse whiskystokerijen worden door het Pentagon gezien als mogelijke fabrieken van massavernietigingswapens.
De whiskydistilleerderij Bruichladdich op het Schotse eilandIslay is enige tijd door het Pentagon bespioneerd. Dit kwam aan het licht toen het bedrijf aan anonieme E mail kreeg met de vraag een kapotte webcam in de fabriekshal te repareren. De E-mail kwam van het Pentagon dat de distilleerderij via die camera in de gaten hield. Volgens het Pentagon was de spionage nodig omdat de distilleerderij simpel is om te bouwen tot een chemische wapenfabriek.
Distillery Manager Mark Reynier vertelde de B B C later dat ze er verschrikkelijk om hebben gelachen bij Bruichladdich. Een persvoorlichter van het Pentagon verklaarde dat de distilleerderij officieel 'niet interresant is voor de veiligheid van de V.S.'.
September 2004 brengt Bruichladdich een roze malt whisky uit. Flirtation genaamd.
Mark Reynier van Bruichladdich: de drank van twintig jaar oud. heeft gerijpt in vaten waar eerder rode wijn in heeft gelagerd, bedoeling was de whisky een rijpere smaak te geven.
Flirtation wordt gebotteld op de gebruikelijke sterkte vanBruichladdich: 46 %

2005: Kapaciteit: 1.500.000 liter spirit per jaar
2006: 27 Februari wordt bekend gemaakt dat Bruichladdicheen vier maal gedistileerde whisky gaat maken met een alcohol percentage van 92%. Het recept stamt uit een reisboek van Martin Martin,The Western Islands of Scotland, geschreven in1695

Tussen 1994 en 2001 produceerde Bruichladdich alleen in 1998 gedurende zes weken ongeveer 120.000 liter geturfrookte whisky.

Met de overname kwamen ook 10.000 vaten met whisky in het bezit van de nieuwe eigenaren,om meer whisky te kunnen verkopen werden van blenders nog een 2000 tot 3000 vaten terug gekocht.

In Maart 2004 kwam de eerste spirit, gemaakt van organische Schotse gerst uit de ketels.

Mede door het niet hebben van veel geldmiddelen werd veel gerepareerd inplaats van nieuw aangeschaft.
De origenele Robert Boby maalderij stamt uit 1881, de mash tun, afkomstig van Bunnahabhain en overgenomen in 1900en één van de wash backs stammen ook uit 1881.

Op 29 Mei 2001 kwam de eerste spirit uit de ketels vanBruichladdich De spirit rijpt in vaten op ketelsterkte.

60 tot 65 % van de gebruikte vaten is Bourbon, 25 % sherry en de rest wijnvaten en andere vaten.

De op 29 Mei gedistilleerde Bruichladdich was licht geturfrookt. Deze spirit komt onder de naam Port Charlottein de toekomst in de handel.

Op 16 October 2002 kwam een heel zwaar geturfrookte spirit uit de ketels van Bruichladdich die in de toekomst alsOctomore in de handel komt.

Sinds 25 Mei 2003 bottelt Bruichladdich zelf zijn whisky.

Het water om de whisky te verdunnen komt van een bron bijPort Charlotte op land dat het eigendom is van James Brown, een boer, die als beloning de titel 'Entertainments Officer' kreeg.

In Mei 2004 kwam Peter Mactaggart als vatenmaker in dienst, de eerste sinds 1966 op Islay.

At Bruichladdich three water sources are used.
For mashing they have their own small (peaty) loch in the hills behind the distillery, which feeds to the buildings below  by a Victorian pipeline and into holding reservoirs besid the still house.
For condensing the (peaty) Bruichladdich Burn is used
For bottling a crystal - clear spring nearby at Octomore Farm is used to reduce the strength of the Bruichladdich bottlings from cask strength to 46 per cent
This invigorating water is regulary brought to the surface and tinkered to the distillery by farmer James Brown
Eight varieties of barley are used, all exclusively Scottish
Optic is the main variety, and the past favourite is Golden Promise, then there's Chalice for Islay - grown and organic production, and Bere - the original barley
The early - ripened Troon and Oxbridge varieties are also used, along with the Riviera and winter crop known as Flagon
In addition 16 farm's harvests (from different 'terroirs') are kept separate from field to cask
On Islay the participating farms are: Kentraw, Rockside, Kynagarry, Octomore, Claggan, Muindry, Island andStarchmill
Mainland barley is still critical, however. It is being provided byCoulmore, Flemington, Morayston, Lonnie and Castle Stuart farms in Ross - shire, Coulblair farm on the Black Isle and Tullibardine Mains Farm in Perthshire, as well asWeyland Farm in the Orkneys
The First 'green' Bruichladdich spirit was distilled in 2003, with the barley being harvested, malted, fermented and distilled separately to obtain highly individual spirits
The 'Great Barley Experiment' of 2004 led to crops being grown on three separate farms, from specific fileds with deifferent geology, then mashed, milled, mashed and fermented separately to see the difference
The next 'Great Barley Experiment' was with the ancientBere variety. It was distilled on Burns Night 25 january 2006, for the first time in the island's memory. Twenty acres were planted on Islay's Dunlossit Estate. Owned by merchant banker Bruno Schroder, and managed by estate manager Chloe Randall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              List of Previous Distillery Managers and Owners:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1881 - 1888                 Robert Harvey                               Harvey Family                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1889 - 1928                 Robert Harvey                               Harvey Family
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1929 - 1936  Closed     Robert Harvey                                Harvey Family
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1937                           Kenneth Harvey                              Harvey family
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1938                           Commander Macbeth                       Associated Scottish Distillers (National Distillersof America)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1939 - 1940                 Bob Watt                                        Associated Scottish Distillers (National Distillers of America)
                                                                                                      
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
1941 - 1945  Closed     Bob Watt                                          Associated Scottish Distillers (National Distillers of America)
                                                                                                    
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
1946 -1951                  Bob Watt                                          Associated Scottish Distillers (National Distillers of America)
                                                                                                      
                                                                                                        
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1952 - 1959                Sandy Raitt                                        Ross and Coulter Ltd                                                                                                                                                                                                      
1960 - 1967                Peter Logie                                        Alexander Grant                                                                                                                                                                                                            
1968 - 1971                Peter Logie                                        Invergordon (Hawker Sydley)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
1972 - 1975                Ian Allen                                            Invergordon (Hawker Sydley)
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1976 -1993                 Ian Allen                                            Invergordon (Hawker Sydley)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
1994                          Ian Allen                                            Invergordon (Whyte & Mackay)

                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
1995 - 1998 Closed     Willy Tait                                           Invergordon (Whyte & Mackay -Jim Beam Brands)
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
1999 - 2000 Closed     Michael Heads                                      Invergordon (Whyte & Mackay- Jim Beam Brands)
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2001                         Duncan McGillivray                                Bruichladdich Distillery Co, Ltd            
                                                                                                          

October 2009

Bruichladdich Organic is launched and comes from a single varity of barley, from
a single farm and a single year
Labelled as: "Anns an t - seann doigh"is Gaelic for "the way it used to be"
Mark Reynier said that this is a return to the way that whisky was made 200 years
ago and reckon the taste is so unusual that experts won't even know which country it's from.
Mark Reynier: we have 23 farmers in Scotland growing organic barley for us, but each
edition of this whisky comes from just one farm a year - making it the ultimate single malt
Every different edition will grown from a different farm - next year the edition will be a different taste
In this whisky you really tatste the barley, and you don't find that in a single malt much now.
The current edition is distilled from Chalice barley grown byWilliam Rose at Culblair,near Inverness in summer of 2003
                                                                                                                           
P A to Simon Coughin:…………..Jan Reavy
Bottling Hall Processor:………….Andrew Ritchie
Bottling Hall Processor:………….Andrew Ross
Bottling Hall processor:………….Sandra Saul
Assistant Housekeeper:…………Margaret Shaw
Bottling Hall Processor:………….David Simpson
Sales / Marketing Administrator: …Jim Taylor
I T Manager:………………………  Michael Thomson
Shop Assistant / Tour Guide:…  Helen Walthew


1881            Barnett Harvey builds the distillery with the money left by his
                    brother William III to his three sons William IV, Robert and
                    John Gourlay. Yoker
                    The Harvey's already owns Dundashill distillery in Glasgow
                    Yoker distillery also in Glasgow
1886            Bruichladdich Distillery Company is formed, and the distillery
                    Reconstructed
1929            Bruichladdich closes
1936            The distillery reopens
1938            Joseph Hobbs, Hatim Attari and Alexander Tolmie purchase
                    Bruichladdich for 23.000 pound, through the company Train
                    & McIntyre.
1938           Bruichladdich becomes part of Associated Scottish Distillers
1952            Bruichladdich is bought by Ross & Coulter, Glasgow
1961            From now on the malt comes from Port EllenMaltings
1968            Invergordon Distillers take Bruichladdichover
1975           From 2 to 4 stills
1983            Bruichladdich closes
1993            Whyte & Mackay buys Invergordon Distillers
1995            Bruichladdich closes in January
1998            In production again for a few months then again closed
2000            Murray McDavid buys Bruichladdich from J B B Greater Europe,
                    formerly Whyte & Mackay for 6.5 million pound.
                    1.4 litres of whisky from 1964 and younger is included in the purchase
2001            Jim McEwan from Bowmore becomes Production Director
                    First distillation  from Port Charlotte is on29th May
                    First distillation from Bruichladdich is in July
                    In September a 10, 15 and 20 years old are released from old casks
2002            23th October Octomore is distilled at 80 ppm, the world's most
                    heavily peated whisky
2003            Bruichladdich becomes his own bottling on site
2006            First bottling of Port Charlotte P C 5
2008            More than twenty new releases this year

The traditional Bruichladdich is made from  Optic Scottish barley and at 5 ppm

8 varieties of barley are used, al exclusive Scottish: Optic is the main variety,
the past favourite is Golden Promise, Chalice is Islay - grown and organic,
Bere is the orginal barley, Troon, Riviera and Oxbridgeearly ripening barley
and Flagon a winter barley and coming from 16 different farms; on Islay
the farms are Kentraw, Rockside, Kynagarry, Octomore, Claggen, Mulindry,
Island, Starchmill.

The mainland barley comes from Coulmore, Flemington, Morayston, Lonnie and
Castle Stuart farms in Ross - shire, Coulblair on the Black Isle, Tullibardine Mains
Farm in Perthshire and Wyland farm on Orkney.  

Port Charlotte was first produced in 2001 and named after the old distillery that
was closed in 1929 and is heavily peated in the orginal 1881style of Bruichladdich
at 40 ppm and it uses also Optic Scottish barley

Octomore is a farm on the hills above Port Charlotte and first made in 2002 and  is 80 ppm and uses Optic Scottish barley.

Organic
was first distilled at the end of December 2003 and made from barley har-
vested in Ross - shire, Perthshire, Inverness, Black Isle and of course Islay.

Islay - grown from Chalice barley. Distilled from the crop ofKentraw Farm above
Lochindaal

Triple Distilled first produced in July 2005 "Trestarig" at 84 %.

Quadruple Distilled The X 4 was made for the first time in March 2006 at 90 %

Lochindaal was the original name for Port CharlotteDistillery and was first distilled
in 2007 at Bruichladdich Distillery and is more peated than the PC 6 and less than
Octomore

Juli 2012
A group of whiskyinvestors coul be in line for a € 25.000.000 pay after French drinks giant
Remy Cointreau revealed that it was in "exclusive talks"to take over the Bruichladdich distillery.
The site, which was mothballed in 1995 and then in 2001reopened by a team led by Mark
Reynier, a former wine merchant in London.
Remy Cointreau has  € 1.000.000.000  to spent following  the the sale of its champagne
Business in 2011.

Bruichladdich employs 55 staff.

Bruichladdich secured in 2012 a € 9.5.000.000 finance package from H.S.B.C.  to boost
production of single malt whiskies and gin

23 July 2012
French Drinks Company Remy Cointreau                                                                                             
buys Bruichladdich Distillery for 58.000.000                                                                                  
pound
Remy Cointreau pays the 60 investors of                                                                                                             
Bruichladdich 48.000.000 pound for their                                                                                          
shares and taking on Bruichladdich's
10.000.000 pound debt.
Mark Reynier,  led the group that bought Bruichladdich for 6,500.000 in 2000

23 Juli 2012
Remy Cointreau neemt Bruichladdich                                                                                                   
distilleerderij over voor 58.000.000 pound,
dat houdt in 48.000.000 voor de aandelen                                                                                               
en 10.000 voor uitstaande schulden.
Bruichladdich was op 19 December 2000                                                                                  
overgenomen van Jim Beam voor 6.500.000.

2009   Laddie Classic Edition
2011  Laddie Ten
2012  The Laddie Sixteen 46 %  - American Oak
          The Laddie Twenty Two 46 %  - American Oak
          Islay barley 2006 50 %
          P C "The Peat project" 46 %
          P C  10 years old 46 %
          P C  10 Cask Strenght 59.8 %
         Octomore 0.5 Ltr 59,5 % - 169 ppm
Er komen Limited Editions:
Single Malt.
Single Barley Variety,
Single Harvest,
Single Field,
The Peat Project vervangt vervangt alle                                                                                           
Port Charlotte versies en naast de leeftijd serie                                                                                          
gaan staan.
De 10 years old Port Charlotte komt uit in                                                                                                                         
2 versies: 46 % en de P C 10 met 59,8 % met 6000
flessen, met de naam "Tro Na Linntean" wat                                                                                     
Through The Generations" betekend.
                                              
PROGRESSIVE  HEBRIDEAN  DISTILLERS             
THE   BRUICHLADDICH ISLAY  BARLEY  SERIES
THE  BRUICHLADDICH  " UBER  -  PROVENANCE "  SERIES  
BRUICHLADDICH 2 0 0 6  BERE  BARLEY  KYNAGARRY  FARM  ACHABA  ACHFAD  FIELDS

" Once again Land and Dram united "

This is the barley that produced the original "Usquebauch". The water of life - The Grain
and the knowledge of distilling  it. Carried on Viking longboat from Mesopotamia via the
Black Sea and the mighty rivers of eastern Europe to the Baltic. Thence to Norway, Orkney
and finally to the Hebrides. 1200 years of distilling history in a bottle.

Bere
- Graminea Hordeum Vulgare - is the world's oldest cultivated cereal. It was brought
crescent where it originated a good 5000 / 6000 years earlier.

Since we first rescued this fantastic distillery from years of neglect, it has been our mission
to pursue rhe ultimate pedigree and traceability of our raw materials - chief of which is our
barley - and to push the boundaries of the concept of terroir artisanal single malt whisky.

Ideally suited to impoverished, sandy soils and the short Hebridean growing season, but
subject to strong winds. It yields less than 50 % of a modern crop - and the bulky grain has
proved quite exceptionally. Resistant to milling and mashing. Wreaking havoc with our
Victorian equipment - truly Viking D N A !

Among the lands on Islay granted by Queen mary in 1562 to James Makconnel of Dunnovaig
and Glennis, was the 16 shilling and eight pence land of "Ochton - Affraiche" which trans-
lated into Gaelic is Ochdamh na  Fraiche - the " Eight of Bleakness ". The position of Ochton -
Affraiche is now indicated by Kynagarry - Ceannagaradh in The Gaelic - Meaning.

"The Limit of the Garden ", The Edge of Fertility before the rocky, high ground. It is here now
part of Dunlossit Estate that Bere was sown in Achaba (Abbott Field) and Achfad (Long  Field) -                                                                                                                                                                                
Virgin ground unused for a century and chemical - free. This produced hopelessly small
yields, but the result is a malt of quite singular character, ultimate originality and exceptional
provenance.

There are many attributes we share with our distant gaelic forefathers: stubborn, resolute,
selfsufficient, tough, hardworking, enduring straight - talking, emotional, passionate
philosophical and engaging………perhaps with a certain roguish quality.

We are proudly non conformist, as has always been the way in these Western Isles Oirthir Gaidheal,
the Coast of the Gaels, the land of the outsider.

Been stifled by industrialization and self - interest - huge organizations have developed that require
a stable status quo to ensure that their industrial processes can run to maximum efficiency, produ -
cing the 'maximum 'product with the minimum input and variation, all to the lowest unit price.

We reject this.

We believe that whisky should have character, and authenticity derived  from where it is distilled and
the philosophies of those who distill it - a sense of place, of terroir that speaks of the land, of the raw
ingredients from which it was made.

We believe in variety, in chance , in progress, in irrationally, in a subborn refusal to accept prescribed
'porcess ' , we believe in following the distilling Muse wherever it might take us.

Above all we believe the world needs an antidote to homogeneity and blandness. Since our first spirit
ran from our unique Victorian stills on 11.09.01 we have been on an adventure - sometimes a white
knuckrch took pre - eminencele ride, but a journey that has seldom been dull, often a challenge,                                                                                                                                                                             
throughout a joy and a thrill.

There was a time, now long gone, when distilling was an uncomplicated affair. An art, certainly, but
not an enterprise where craft was subordinated to spin, and where concerns of "global consumer
profiling "and marked research took pre - eminence  over thoughts of land, season and harvest.

We believe the spirit has lost tough with the land, with the farmers who supply its raw product, and                                                                                                                                                                               
with a sense of place and provenance. At the time of writing, 50 % of our barley
is sourced from organic farms - ultimately our aim is for that to be 100 % ( and while most
other distillers don't seem to feel the need, our barley in 100 % SCOTTISH barley - how could
it be any other way ?).

In 2010 we released the first spirit to be made from IslayBarley, perhaps the first for 50 years.                                                                                                                                                                                   
We believe our spirit should speak of where it comes from and where it matured -
Bruichladdich is the only major distiller to distill, mature and bottle all its whisky on Islay.
Extraordinera to think it could be any other way, is't it?.

There has been a tendency to see organic farming as either a lifestyle statement or a luxury
or both.

It is nothing of the sort. Organic farming  is the way all farming used to be before the industrial revolution                                                                                                                                                                       
and the mass migration of population into towns and cities. The dis-
tiller would buy his grain in the morning from the farmer he would drink with in the
evening. And that farmer would know every inch of his land and the meaning  of every
cloud  in the sky. On Islay he would collect kelp from the beach for fertilizer and pray the
volatile Atlantic weather systems would keep the rain off his harvest.

We passionately pursue a return to these simpler times - to authenticity, place and provenance, to                                                                                                                                                                                     
ultimate traceability. We seek to produce the most natural, thought - provoking, intellectually stimulating
& enjoyable spirit possible. Obsessive ? Probably -
but the road at Octofad farm. We believe in community.

Lastly, and with respect for this glorious past which we've spoken, we believe in innovation
and progress, with constantly striving tp produce a more characterful spirit, one with more
integrity and provenance, one thatis more expressive of this wonderful island we are lucky
to live on. A spirit to put a smile on your face wherever you are, and help you close your
eyes and quietly sream of Islay

New Bruichladdich range includes "most peated malt"

September, 2013

The peated Octomore 6.2
Rémy Cointreau Global Travel Retail has announced it will unveil a new collection of Bruichladdich single malt scotches, including what it claims is the "most heavily peated malt whisky on the planet".
The exclusive travel retail range will be launched at TFWA World Exhibition in October and comprises five single malts scotches from the Islay distillery, four of which are age-statement free.
The range consists of Bruichladdich The Organic Scottish Barley, Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006, Bruichladdich Black Art, Port Charlotte PC11 and Octomore 6.2.
Rémy Cointreau acquired Bruichladdich in September 2012 and has spent the last year working with the distillery management team to prepare for this autumn's launches in travel retail, what it describes as a "uniquely fickle market".
Bruichladdich The Organic Scottish Barley (50% abv, 1ltr), is described as the "backbone of the range" and is anunpeated malt, organic Islay malt.
Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006 (50% abv,  70cl) is a limited edition unpeated single malt. It is the first time the distillery can boast a malt made from 100% Islay barley.
Bruichladdich Black Art (49.2% abv, 70cl), is described as a "cult cask, secret creation which will be on very limited release".
Port Charlotte PC11 (59.5% abv, 70cl), is a limited edition of heavily peated single malt Scotch whisky.

Organic Scottish Barley
The heavily peated Octomore 6.2 (58.2%, abv 70cl) is matured in cognac casks and has "marine notes of honey and lemon".
Bruichladdich Scottish Barley
Progressive Hebridean Distillers
"Once again, Land and Dram united"
We believe terroir matters
We believe in Islay
We believe in the people
We believe in authencity, provenance and tracebility
We believe in slow
We believe
in challenging
convention
We believe in the soul of the artisan
Jim McEwan Head Distiller

BRUICHLADDICH  SCOTTISH  BARLEY  UNPEATED  ISLAY  SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY

THE CLASSIC  LADDIE
This is classic Bruichladdich an elegant spirit derived fromunpeated Scottish barley is bently
Coaxed from our tall stills and slowly matured in American oak casks. These are then carefully
selected by our master distiller Jim McEwan to explore and express the definitive Bruichladdich
style and insight into the heart and soul of our classic spirit.

The Laddie Classic Scottish Barley sets out to define who we are ultimate provenance, ultimate
traceability an achingly slow distillation and maturation on Islay in the finest wood. This complex
single malt has no artificial colouring and is bottled at 50 % ABV without chill filtration to preserve
the natural oils and esters that are so essential to the appreciation of a fine Scotch whisky.

Bruichladdich is Gaelic for stony shore bank and is located on The Rhinns on Islay

We are proudly non-conformist, as has always been the way in these Western Isles – Oirthir Gaidheal, the Coast of the Gaels, the land of the outsider.

WE BELIEVE THAT WHISKY SHOULD HAVE CHARACTER; AN AUTHENTICITY DERIVED FROM WHERE IT IS DISTILLED AND THE PHILOSOPHIES OF THOSE WHO DISTIL IT

At Bruichladdich, we believe the whisky industry has been stifled by industrialisation and self-interest – huge organisations have developed that require a stable status quo to ensure that their industrial processes can run to maximum efficiency, producing the maximum “product” with the minimum input and variation, all to the lowest unit price.

We reject this.

We believe that whisky should have character; an authenticity derived from where it is distilled and the philosophies of those who distil it – a sense of place, of terroir that speaks of the land, of the raw ingredients from which it was made.

We believe in variety, in chance, in progress, in irrationality, in a stubborn refusal to accept prescribed “process”; we believe in following the distilling Muse wherever it might take us. Above all we believe the world needs an antidote to homogeneity and blandness. Since our first spirit ran from our stills on Sunday 27.05.01 we have been on an adventure – sometimes a white-knuckle ride, but a journey that has seldom been dull, often a challenge, throughout a joy and a thrill.

OUR FARMERS KNOW EVERY INCH OF THEIR LAND AND THE MEANING OF EVERY CLOUD IN THE SKY.

Our raw ingredients are paramount. We use 100% Scottishbarley - we believe it's called "Scotch" for a reason. We are the major distiller of organic barley in Scotland and have been instrumental in support for organic farming in the single malt category.  In 2010 we released the first single malt whisky to be made purely from Islay Barley, probably the first in the island's history.

Our farmers know every inch of their land and the meaning of every cloud in the sky.  Our water comes from farmer and friend James Brown’s Octomore farm up on the hill behind our Port Charlotte warehouse; our Islay barley is dried in the sheds of the Wood brothers, Andrew and Neil, up the road at Octofad farm. We believe in community.

We believe our spirit should speak of where it comes from and where it is matured – Bruichladdich is the only major distiller to distil, mature and bottle all its whisky on Islay. Extraordinary to think it could be any other way, isn’t it?

We passionately believe in terroir - in authenticity, place and provenance, in ultimate traceability. We seek to produce the most natural, thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating & enjoyable spirit possible. Obsessive? Probably – but if all you want is a whisky, the world is awash with the stuff.

Lastly, we believe in innovation and progress, with constantly striving to produce a more characterful spirit, one with more integrity and provenance, one that is more expressive of this wonderful island we are lucky to live on. A spirit to put a smile on your face wherever you are, and to help you close your eyes and quietly dream of Islay.

AB GRANT & CO
AB Grant & Co Ltd operated offices in Glasgow and London, and during the 1950s and 1960s was producing a London Dry gin, and Gold Label, Special Vat and Talloch blended Scotch whisky brands.
Grants’ was incorporated in 1951 and owned Bladnochdistillery in south-west Scotland from 1956 to 1964, andBruichladdich on Islay from 1960 to 1968.

BRUICHLADDICH                              
14 Jahre alt
50.2 %
VORHER UND FISHKY

Da die Mode, Whisky in immer wieder anderen, zum Teil, seltsamen, Fässern nachreifen zu lassen, immer mehr um sich greift, wollte ich der erste sein, der ein Finish auf den Markt bringt, das, im Gegensatz zu vielen derzeitig erhaltlichen Abfüllungen, an die Anfange der Whiskylagerung erinnert.
Ich erhebe nicht den Anspruch, dass dieser Whisky durch die Nachlagerung im Heringfass besser geworden ist (sonst wurde Whisky vermutlich heute ausschliesslich in Heringfassern lagern) aber er bietet einen weiteren sehr interessanten Aspekt inder Welt des Whiskys.
Geschenkt bekommen von Ulricke und Hermann Rogowski, Tecklenburg, Deutschland.

Finishes mean at Bruichladdich A C E - ing = Additional Cask Evolution

Bruichladdich's Bere Barley 2009 release comes from 4 different Orkney locations and with their interest in provenance and tracability the farms are indentified on the packinging and the label.
The farms are: Wyeland, Watersfield, Richmond Villa, Quoyberstane and Northfield.

BRUICHLADDICH UNVEILS RARE CASK MALTS
November
Islay distillery Bruichladdich has launched its Rare Cask Series – three single malts taken from the last remaining parcels of whisky distilled in 1984, 1985 and 1986.

Bruichladdich Rare Cask Series
Bygone age: The three single malts date from a very different time in Bruichladdich’s history
Described by head distiller Adam Hannett as ‘the last of their kind’, the three single malts have been bottled at 30-32 years old and are available for about £700 per 70cl bottle.

They date from a period when Bruichladdich was owned by Invergordon – a time of reduced production prior to the distillery’s closure in 1995 under Whyte & Mackay (Bruichladdich was eventually reopened in 2001 after changing hands again).

‘These rare, old single malts are a direct link to our past, to the men who made truly special spirit here while facing very different circumstances to those which we enjoy today,’ said Hannett.

The three whiskies include:

Bruichladdich 1984/32 Years Old (3,000 bottles, 43.7% abv): Taken from 12 casks of ‘classic’ Bourbon-aged Bruichladdich, filled on 31 December 1984 and transferred by former master distiller Jim McEwan into fresh Bourbon casks in 2008.
Bruichladdich 1985/32 Years Old (4,200 bottles, 48.7% abv): Taken from the final 22 casks of legacy stock filled into third-fill Bourbon casks, then re-casked into fresh Bourbon casks in 2012, before a final stint in French oak from ‘one of the greatest French châteaux’ in 2017.
Bruichladdich 1986/30 Years Old (4,200 bottles, 44.6%): Taken from seven oloroso Sherry butts filled in 1986, then transferred by McEwan into Pedro Ximénez Sherry butts from Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla in 2012.
Hannett said of the whiskies: ‘They are in their prime, the last of their kind and can never be repeated, never recreated. Nothing quite like them will ever be seen again.’

ADAM HANNETT
Following in the footsteps of an industry legend – in this case, Jim McEwan – is no easy task. But Bruichladdich head distiller Adam Hannett is determined to carve out his own niche at the maverick Islay distillery.
Wise words: A pep talk by predecessor Jim McEwan left Adam Hannett ‘absolutely hooked’ on whisky
‘Mum and dad were from Manchester and trained as nurses. They fell in love with Islay while on holiday and moved here in the 1970s. I was brought up at Ardnave House in the north of the island, which was a fantastic place with great beaches to play on.
‘I did a year-and-a-half at Aberdeen University studying marine biology but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and wasn’t that keen on studying, so I left and came home when I was 20. Distilleries weren’t open to the public so much when I was growing up; they were much more secretive and mysterious in the 1980s. But things had changed by 2004 when I got a job at Bruichladdich working in the shop and conducting tours.
‘I had a pep talk at the start by Jim McEwan and was absolutely hooked from that point on whisky and whisky-making. I worked in the warehouse and did shifts at mashing, and before Christmas you’d stop the stills and everyone would be pulled into the bottling hall to get stock out. There’s not a job I haven’t done in the distillery.
‘Working with Jim and the now retired general manager Duncan McGillivray, I was like a sponge soaking up everything. I call myself head distiller – certainly not master distiller, as Jim was. Maybe one day, but I definitely wouldn’t be comfortable with it now.
‘Every day working with Jim was amazing. You learnt how to conduct yourself as a person for one thing – after all you were representing the distillery. There were no short cuts and it was all about quality and achieving the very best possible.

Head man: For now, Hannett prefers to be called head distiller – not master

‘None of our whisky goes into blends; it’s all bottled as single malt, so it has to be right. Integrity and telling the truth in front of people is vitally important. You also have to have a bit of fun and not take everything too seriously.

‘How do you follow Jim? He was very good at coaching me, telling me to be your own man, do things your own way. That was reassuring. I tried not to think about following in Jim’s footsteps at the first festival masterclass I did. Jim was passionate and flamboyant, a great performer. I’m a bit more sedate!

‘I have a great team around me, including Allan Logan, our production director, who has worked his way up through the ranks and is a really good guy to work with. He’s very calm and knowledgeable. Everybody’s pulling in the same direction.

‘In terms of what we’re doing, it concerns keeping to fundamental principles. We’re passionate about our barley and casks – about sheer quality. We are curators and we are not planning radical changes. The distillery is in fantastic health, and we’ll improve where we can.

‘We’d love to malt here, it’s the missing part of the jigsaw, and we are exploring the feasibility of that. However, we have made some Octomore and Port Charlotte with Islay peat, which we shipped to Baird’s Maltings at Inverness for them to use for us.

Team effort: Everyone pulls in the same direction atBruichladdich, says Hannett
‘Octomore 07.4 Virgin Oak was my very first expression with the stabilisers off, as it were. It was Jim’s idea to do it, but I actually made it and it’s an absolute flavour bomb. I’m currently working on Black Art 5, and I’ve also done Port Charlotte 2007 CC.01 in Cognac casks, and Laddie Eight for travel retail, which is a new market for us. I decided an eight-year-old would be interesting.

‘The Cognac casks give the Port Charlotte an amazing sweetness. We just filled them and laid them down to see what would happen. We didn’t even necessarily have it in mind for release until we saw how well it turned out.

‘There’s been an assumption that because The Classic Laddie was an NAS expression it would be inferior to some of our other whiskies. About a year-and-a-half ago – long before the whole “transparency” issue with John Glaser and the Scotch Whisky Association came to the fore – we had the idea of putting codes on bottles of The Classic Laddie so that buyers could visit the website and find the recipe for that batch. We decided it was really time to do it when the whole Glaser issue arose.

‘We plan to do the same coding for Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, as essentially it’s the Port Charlotte version of The Classic Laddie – but nobody’s going to find out what goes into the Black Art I’m making!

‘When it comes to my own drams, I’m really enjoying Port Charlotte Scottish Barley just now, and I’m also a big fan of Ardbeg and what they’ve been doing.

‘When I’m not working, my one-year-old daughter Emily takes up most of my time, and I’m also about to start building a house close to the distillery, which will definitely leave me with very little spare time. However, I do love an evening walk on the beach at Kilchoman – very calming.’

December 2017
EXCLUSIVE: Scotch whisky distilleries Bruichladdichand InchDairnie have each created what are believed to be the first commercial pot still rye spirits made in Scotland for more than 200 years.

Rye grain InchDairnie
Rye resurgence: Germinating rye grain used by InchDairnie distillery in Fife
By coincidence, Islay’s Bruichladdich and recently-opened Fife plant InchDairnie ran their rye distillations in the same week during November, signalling a revival of the grain in Scotland after a lengthy hiatus.

While other producers, including Lone Wolf, have distilled with rye, these are thought to be the first commercially-sized, rye-dominant pot still distillates using the grain in Scotland for more than 200 years.
InchDairnie’s ‘Ryelaw’ project – the name comes from a neighbouring farm – started this year with experiments in malting, mashing regimes, yeast selection and micro-distilling taking place off-site with a number of specialist firms.
In November, a mixed mash of 51% malted Scottish rye and 49% malted barley, both sourced from Muntons,was run through the distillery’s mash filter and then fermented with a specially selected yeast.
The Ryelaw spirit was distilled once in a pot still and given a second distillation in InchDairnie’s ‘Lomond Hills’ still, which has fixed reflux plates in its neck.
This yielded 40,000 litres of new make spirit, which is being aged in new American Ozark oak barrels. When judged ready, it will be the first release from InchDairnie, which opened in May last year.
The rye for the 2018 campaign has already been purchased, and a local Fife farmer has been contracted to grow the crop for subsequent years.
‘We chose rye because of flavour,’ said Ian Palmer, InchDairnie managing director. ‘For me, a lot of the flavours which other distillers are working with have been wood-driven – particularly through finishing.
‘We want to show that the flavours produced in distilling are as interesting as flavours of maturation. Rye was an obvious one to try.’
Meanwhile, Bruichladdich planted 10 acres of rye on Islay which, after a ‘challenging’ harvest, yielded 13 tons of grain to process at the distillery.
This was used unmalted, along with 45% malted barley, in five mashes.

Bruichladdich rye
Field of dreams: Bruichladdich’s rye crop growing at Coull Farm on the Rhinns of Islay
In an effort to understand how the rye would behave, slightly different techniques were used, such as the order in which the two grists were put into the mash tun, and the mashing temperature.
The distillate is being aged in a mix of new American oak, first-fill Bourbon and some new French oak.
‘We will definitely do it again next year,’ saidBruichladdich distillery manager Allan Logan. ‘We’ve gained a lot of knowledge from this year’s batches and the plans are to plant 20 acres in 2018 to continue the project.’
Lone Wolf in Ellon has been running experimental batches of rye since June 2016, when it trialled a 40% rye/60% malted barley mash.
This was followed by a 60:40 mashbill in August this year, while a 30:70 mash is scheduled to be run next week – the first commercially-sized batch.
The distiller is planning for rye to become a permanent fixture of its whisky portfolio in the future and is still aiming to make a 100% rye whisky.
Meanwhile, another new distillery, Arbikie in Angus, is now ageing a high-strength rye spirit created two years ago using a column still. At least one major distiller is also believed to have experimented with the cereal.
Rye was used in mixed mashes in Scotland during the 18th and early 19th centuries, and in column stills at the end of the 19th century.
More recently, there has been an explosion of interest in rye whiskeys produced in the US, prompting world-leading blended Scotch Johnnie Walker to release experimental rye cask-finished whiskies.
When released, the rye-dominant Bruichladdich and InchDairnie whiskies will both be classified as ‘single grain’ Scotch – that is, grain whisky produced at a single distillery – because ‘single malt’ must be made using 100% barley.
Both whiskies will also qualify as rye whiskies under the US definition, which calls for a mashbill containing at least 51% rye.

SCOTCH WHISKY AND RYE
InchDairnie Ryelaw
R is for…: Inchdairnie’s ‘Ryelaw’ spirit is taken from the name of a nearby farm
Rye is known as an awkward customer. It can turn to glue when being mashed, and foams wildly during fermentation. Many are the tales of a distiller setting a washback one evening – and returning the next morning to find the tun room knee-deep in froth. The thickness of the mash also means that it can stick to the inside of the stills and burn onto the steam coils.
There is also no single way to process rye. Every country has its own style and, within that, each distiller plays its own variations. For example, in the US and Canada enzymes can be used to assist with processing, but as these are not permitted in Scotch, the naturally-occurring enzymes in malted rye or malted barley have to be utilised instead.
It’s therefore no surprise that four different ways were used to make Scottish rye in the recent pot still revival of the grain in Scotland. ‘The original intention was to malt the rye,’ says Bruichladdich distillery manager Allan Logan, ‘but as we couldn’t get that done, we used amashbill of unmalted rye and malted barley.
Rye is high in betaglucanase, which is why it can turn into wallpaper paste in the mash tun. Some distillers use rice hulls to help with creating a filter bed, but we used malted barley for this, and its enzymes. We ended up with a 55% rye content, which was sufficient to give us five mashes.’
Even then it wasn’t straightforward. ‘Having the rye and barley together in the grist hopper gave us drainage problems on the first mash,’ says Logan. ‘We then mashed the rye on its own at a higher temperature, and then added the malt, though in trying to master the drainage we might have lost some flavour.

‘It was pretty thick and sticky through the stills, and we ran 30 minutes of foreshots and cut quite high to retain the spiciness, which came over in the middle.’
Meanwhile, InchDairnie’s approach with its ‘Ryelaw’spirit was completely different. Malted rye was used, but kilned at a lower temperature to the malted rye used for flavour in brewing.
‘Malting added flavour,’ says InchDairnie managing director Ian Palmer. ‘It also kept things simple. You have to burst the protein matrix in the grain to release the starch, either by cooking or malting. We also started mashing at a low temperature to ensure the protein enzymes broke the rest of the cell walls.’
In total, 1.5 tons of rye and 1.4 tons of malted barley were milled and mashed at 45˚C, before the temperature was increased to 65˚C to complete conversion. A more dilute water:grist ratio to normal was used because of rye’s stickiness.
Whereas Bruichladdich uses a traditional mash tun,InchDairnie converts in one vessel and then separates the wort from the solids in a mash filter. ‘This stops coagulation,’ says Palmer, ‘while creating more flavour.’
As the mash was thinner, Palmer removed some plates from the filter to retain the optimum thickness of grains on each. ‘It wasn’t as problematic as anticipated,’ he adds, ‘so we could increase the amount of rye and increase the original gravity.’
The clear wort was fermented with Mauri’s ‘R’ yeast, selected for the distillery, and then double-distilled, the first in a standard pot, the second in the distillery’s‘Lomond Hills’ still, an adaptation of the original ‘Lomond’ still and named after the hills behind InchDairnie.
Rye drum malting at Muntons for InchDairnie
Drum malting: Muntons in Suffolk malted the first rye used at InchDairnie
While the original ‘Lomond’ still had moveable plates in the neck which could vary reflux, the InchDairnievariant’s are fixed. Reflux is manipulated by flooding the plates with condensed distillate. The more that is reintroduced, the lighter the spirit.

‘The first few distillation runs had to be modified to allow for the higher alcohol we achieved in fermentation,’ saysPalmer. ‘Accordingly, we filled the first half of the run as a separate batch. The second half was more stable and is now ready for sampling and then filling.’
Lone Wolf distillery in Ellon is also using malted rye – but for another reason. ‘The challenge with processing any unmalted cereals through a four-roller mill is that the kernels are so tough that the mill would struggle to break them apart,’ explains distiller Steven Kersley. ‘The mash would then be like mixing water with whole grains… pointless.’
Then there’s the wallpaper paste syndrome. ‘To get a filter bed, we used 70% malted barley on our first mash, but this week’s is 60% malted barley to 40%malted rye. The husks of the barley give us the filter bed to go through; run-off is slow, but the flavour is great.
‘We got around foaming by putting the 20,000 litres of wort in an 80,000-litre tank, and then gave it a seven-day fermentation, conditioned for 21 days at 1˚C. In distillation, we cut onto spirit at 86% and came off at 68%.’
Lone Wolf is ageing in a mix of ex-Buffalo Trace Ryecasks, virgin American oak casks and 50-litre American oak (both with a level three char).
Meanwhile, a mix of new American and French oak (with some first-fill American) is being used by Bruichladdich, and 100% virgin Ozark American oak barrels by InchDairnie.

Ozark oak: InchDairnie is using virgin American oak to mature its rye spirit
Each distiller is already planning for next year. ‘We’d ideally like to do more,’ says Logan, ‘so in spring we’ll plant plant 20 acres over two fields – and we might just up the rye when we distil. We’ll see.’
Diageo will continue to trial rye at pilot plant Leven and two other (unnamed) distilleries – though the presence of a mash filter suggests that Teaninich might be one.
‘It’s important to see this within the context of a series of ongoing experimentations which we don’t always talk about,’ points out the firm’s head of whisky outreach, Dr Nick Morgan. ‘Now we have the pilot plant, we have the flexibility to scale up quickly, but first we want to see what we get from the maturing stock.’
Kersley is already looking at the possibilities which rye gives. ‘It brings an earthiness that’s absent in barley – slightly green with a breadiness and burnt sugar sweetness,’ he says. ‘I’m really excited to use this grain more often in different guises. We’re just at the top of the rabbit hole, but we’re about to sprint down it.’
It’s a similarly bullish outlook in Fife, where Palmer says: ‘We are now collating all of the data we collected and we’ll review internally over the coming weeks, then with Muntons and Mauri, allowing us then to settle on our plan for next year's run. We have already secured the rye for that, and have got the rye growing, here in Fife, for 2019. Ryelaw is here to stay.’
Which begs the question: who’s next?
There’s no increase in capacity at Bruichladdich, but the ownership of French group Rémy Cointreau has seen a steady increase in production levels to 1m lpa in 2017; when the distillery was first revived in 2001, it could only afford to make a fraction of that amount of spirit.

As production increases, warehousing has expanded too, with the construction of three new 10,000-cask cells beginning in November last year.

Bruichladdich’s maltings closed in 1962, but distillery managers have spoken in the past of their long-term ambition to malt on-site again – initially for Islay-grown barley, but then possibly for Scottish-grown barley as well.


Gin: The Botanist

The Botanist is another Scottish gin that draws upon local botanicals to reflect its environment. Produced at Islay’s Bruichladdich distillery on an old Lomond still (named Ugly Betty) rescued from the demolished Inverleven distillery, The Botanist (46% abv; £32) is the island’s first and only gin.

Launched in 2010 – some 130 years after the distillery was founded – the spirit contains 22 wild foraged botanicals, including apple mint, camomile, elder and lemon balm, built around a core base of berries, barks, peels and seeds.

WE BELIEVE OUR SPIRITS SHOULD HAVE CHARACTER; AN AUTHENTICITY DERIVED FROM WHERE THEY ARE DISTILLED AND THE PHILOSOPHIES OF THOSE WHO DISTIL THEM.

There are many attributes we share with our distant Gaelic forefathers: stubborn, resolute, self-sufficient, tough, hard-working, enduring, straight-talking, emotional, passionate, philosophical and engaging… perhaps with a certain roguish quality.

We are proudly nonconformist, as has always been the way in these Western Isles – Oirthir Gaidheal, the Coast of the Gaels, the land of the outsider.

We passionately believe in terroir – in authenticity, place and provenance, in ultimate traceability. We seek to produce the most natural, thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating & enjoyable spirits possible. Obsessive? Probably – but if all you want is generic spirit, the world is awash with the stuff.

We are Progressive, Hebridean Distillers.

55°93’67.7”N / 6°68’37.5”W

GROWING ISLAY BARLEY
COULL FARM, ISLE OF ISLAY, SCOTLAND
PROGRESSIVE
IT’S A STATE OF MIND

WE RESPECT THE PAST BUT DON’T LIVE IN ITS SHADOW. WE BELIEVE IN INNOVATION AND PROGRESS, WHILE STRIVING TO CREATE INTRIGUING SPIRIT – A SPIRIT WITH FLAWLESS INTEGRITY AND PROVENANCE. WE ARE CURIOUS AND RESTLESS – WE NEVER LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE.

We believe in asking questions, in moving forward regardless of industry convention or the status quo. We continue to rebel against the staid world of Scotch whisky. We pioneer the foraging movement in gin. Confronting transparency, and reconnecting with nature.

This is not one distillery with one style of spirit; this is one project to break every boundary, to challenge every convention.

HEBRIDEAN
A SENSE OF PLACE

OUR COMMITMENT TO OUR ISLAND, OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR WORKFORCE IS TOTAL, BUT UNDERPINNING EVERYTHING IS THE QUALITY OF OUR SPIRIT. OVER THIS, THERE CAN BE NO COMPROMISE.

Any artisanal, living product should speak of the place from which it comes, of the people who have created and nurtured it; of the soil, the air, the geography that influence it – of PLACE. These are the reasons we distil, mature and bottle only on Islay. Our commitment to keeping as much of our process here, is not just about protecting that signature salt-citrus tang which comes from Islay maturation. It is also in a commitment to our local community, to providing professional jobs for our locals, and in developing out talent from our remote island home.

Hebridean may refer to Islay and its position as the southernmost island in the inner Hebrides but our position in an archipelago of western islands is not what defines us. We are more than a grid reference on a map. Hebridean runs through our people and our values, those that shape who we are and the decisions we make.

In our community, longevity is valued over speed or symbols of status. Barter thrives. Collective memory, common ownership, gentle defiance, proud non-conformism. These have always been the ways in these Western Isles, but they are threads that still run through our society.

REAL PLACE, REAL PEOPLE
PROVENANCE AND TRACEABILITY
ISLAY TERROIR, BARLEY TO BOTTLE
PROUDLY INDEPENDENT

EXPERTISE THAT HAS BEEN EARNED

THERE ARE MANY WHO WOULD SEE WHISKY DISTILLING AS AN INDUSTRIAL PROCESS – A MEANS OF STANDARD MANUFACTURE AND NOTHING MORE. WE UNDERSTAND DISTILLING TO BE AN ANCIENT ART, ONE THAT HAS INTRIGUED THE HUMAN SPIRIT FOR CENTURIES. A BLACK ART, A MYSTERIOUS AND ENIGMATIC ALCHEMY, THAT EXPLORES THE VERY DEPTHS OF THE DISTILLER’S SOUL.

Now-retired Master Distiller Jim McEwan had begun his working life as an apprentice cooper. Duncan McGillivray had come to Bruichladdich as a young fitter and rose to become General Manager. Duncan McFadyen, John Rennie, Neil McTaggart, the list was long. “We were working with whisky legends.”

Highly skilled men, they were determined to make whisky as they too had been taught, by hand, taste, nose and eye. They rejected the onset of modern automation and homogenisation. They would only consider production methods that placed the quality of liquid above everything else.

Now most have retied, but our mission is to preserve their legacy and indeed pass it on to those who will in turn follow us in decades to come.

There is an honesty and an integrity in doing everything here, by hand. It is this manual control of the entire process and the ultimate knowledge of every pipe, every valve, every nuance, that gives us the authority to not only distil three different styles of single malt, but also the first Islay dry gin. It is in our determination to protect our core values, of authenticity, provenance and transparency, that we have earned the right to call ourselves Progressive Hebridean Distillers.

VICTORIAN EQUIPMENT
MINIMAL INTERVENTION
CUVEES CREATED BY TASTE
‘WHAT IF?’
100% SCOTTISH BARLEY

Bruichladdich uses only Scottish barley – we believe it’s called “Scotch” for a reason.

SLOW:
TRICKLE DISTILLATION
Our stills run at a slow and relatively uncommercial trickle, they won’t be hurried. This helps us create the purest spirit and allows the stillman to more precisely judge his critical “middle cut” – the distilling sweet spot.

ALL BRUICHLADDICH WHISKY IS BOTTLED NATURALLY, UN-CHILL FILTERED AND WITH NO ADDED COLOUR.
This retains the vital natural oils which give our spirit its complex flavour profile and mouthfeel.

E150a is a caramel food colouring. It is often used to standardise colour in the whisky industry. It enables products to appear consistent regardless of the age, type or style of cask a whisky was matured in.

At Bruichladdich we NEVER use E150a. The colour of our whisky is derived only from the casks in which it is matured.

Chill filtration removes the natural oils found in whisky. These are flavour compounds that can form hazes and deposits when stored at low temperatures. However these very same compounds are in part responsible for the complex flavour profile and mouth feel of single malts.

At Bruichladdich we NEVER chill-filter our whiskies. We would rather a haze in the glass than lose the flavour and texture created all those years ago during fermentation and ameliorated over years of maturation.


BRUICHLADDICH
YELLOW SUBMARINE 1991
WMDIII: THE LEGEND RESURFACES
"US SPIES TUNE INTO 'DISTILLERY OF MASS DESTRUCTION'"
"OUR WHISKY IS NOT A CHEMICAL WEAPON, SAY DISTILLERY CHIEFS"

"AMERICANS FIND WMD - THAT'S A WHISKY MAKING DISTILLERY"

"HOW THE US SPIED ON A TINY ISLAND DISTILLERY"
We can be as serious as you like, we'll wax lyrical about the most intricate detail of whisky-making for hours and hours and hours on end. But spend a minute round the distillery and you'll come to know, that it's a sense of humour that keeps us all going.

The original WMD bottling certainly tickled us. The story began with a letter from the Defence Threat Reduction Agency, inquiring as to why we were shipping distilling equipment that could be adapted for sinister purposes. Never one to miss a trick, or a PR spin, then MD Mark Reynier embellished events, capturing the attention of the nation and the headlines of several respected press.

The full WMD story, including details of subsequent bottlings can be found on our website:

Lurking in our depths, these defiant days of irksome provocation live on! As a symbolic salute to those of you who share our sense of foolery, we present to you the lucky few, WMD III: The Legend Resurfaces.

Adam has hunted out the last parcel of the original 1991 spirit, now at a sublime 25 years old. Originally filled into refill sherry casks, this unpeated Bruichladdich was then transferred into Spanish red wine casks in 2006. This third iteration has been balanced with refill bourbon casks, just as its predecessor.
1,991 bottles have been liberated from our warehouses for this web exclusive. In a bid to make buying as democratic as possible, we've restricted purchase to one per person.

Brief Details:
• Laddie Shop online exclusive, one per person
• 1,991 bottles only (700ml)
• 46% alc. / vol.
• £300 including VAT
• 25 aged years
• Component 1: 15 years refill sherry maturation before a final 10 years Spanish tempranillo cask maturation (approx. 7 parts)
• Component 2: 25 years refill bourbon maturation (approx. 2 parts)
2018; All whisky produced is based on Scottish barley, 35 % from Islay, 5 % Organic. Output 1 million litres. 60 % is Bruichladdich, 30 % Port Charlotte, 10 % Octomore.

ISLAY BARLEY 2011
Nowhere is the philosophy of barley exploration more important to us than here on Islay. Bruichladdich Islay Barley explores the influence of our island climate on the barley. Surely the conditions on this westerly rock at the edge of the Atlantic must bring something extra to the barley and to our expressive, floral single malt whisky? The airborne salt spray that washes the fields and our warehouses must leave its mark on cask and liquid?

New this year, our 2011 Islay Barley is now placed in the silver-grey tins familiar with our barley provenance series; Islay barley, Bere barley and Organic barley. This barley exploration range looks deeper into the esoteric diversity of our essential raw material - for Islay Barley - where our barley is grown. This is the ultimate expression of Islay terroir.

BRUICHLADDICH ISLAY BARLEY 2011:

— Unpeated Islay single malt Scotch whisky
— 6th release in Islay Barley exploration series
— Distilled using 100% Islay barley
— Multi-farm single vintage
— Publican & Oxbridge barley varieties
— 75% first fill American whiskey,
— 25% ex Vin Doux Naturel from Southern France and ex French and Austrian sweet wine casks
— 50% vol. for maximum mouth feel
— The Islay harvest took place from 31st August to the 1st September 2010.

.
MARY MCGREGOR, BRUICHLADDICH
2019
As distillery shop manager, and now private client manager, Mary McGregor has become a familiar, welcoming face for whisky lovers walking through Bruichladdich’s blue gates. She tells about growing up behind the distillery, and a special 40-year-old whisky gifted by Jim McEwan.

Local resident: Ileach Mary McGregor assisted with the reopening of Bruichladdich in 2001
‘I grew up on Gartacharra, our family farm located behind Bruichladdich. I’ve found written records that our family has had it at least since 1830, but it probably goes farther back. The maternal side of my paternal family were on Islay a lot longer than those records too. My paternal McGregor side comes from the Trossachs area outside Glasgow. They’re relative newcomers – they’ve only been here on Islay for 200 years or so.

‘The farm is still in the family and my brother runs it. When I was a child it was a dairy farm, then we moved on to cattle and sheep, and now these days it’s mostly beef cattle.

‘If you ever look at a map of Islay, there wouldn’t be much writing on it unless we wrote out the names of all the hills and fields ourselves. Even our fields have names. So right across Warehouse 12 (I call it “The Cathedral”), the name of that field is “Canada”. I like the idea that we’re growing the barley for Bruichladdich in “Canada”.

‘My dad used to help take the barley from the pier. It was delivered by boats called puffers which were the lifeline for the island up until the middle of the last century, as they delivered everything to the islands. He would unload the barley off the puffer with one of his beloved horses and take it to the malt floor located above the mill house.

‘He also collected the draff from the distillery to feed his cattle. Us children would go along with him to shovel it into the trailer whilst he went upstairs to have a dram with the manager of the time. We would play hide-and-seek in the stillhouse and get chased by the stillman – what an amazing playground to have. Farm children never got holidays, we just worked on the farm helping with all the different and varied jobs to do for each season, which made us very resourceful when it came to playtime. We made a swing using the branches of an old tree, and we used an old barrel and a plank of wood to make a see-saw; hay bales also make a great den.

Even the barley used for Bruichladdich has been grown by the McGregors

‘My dad, both my grandfathers, cousins, uncles and aunts have all worked at the distillery and my great-grandfather helped build it in 1881. I started working at Bruichladdich in 2003 although I did assist in the very beginning when Mark [Reynier] bought the distillery. I was mostly in the office, filing and answering the phone. I was lucky to be in the distillery the day the first spirit ran. What an emotional day that was. Jim [McEwan] and Duncan [McGillivray] and all the boys were laughing and dancing around the stillhouse. I’m sure a few tears were shed around the island that day too.

‘Since then, we’ve not really changed since the takeover[Rémy Cointreau bought Bruichladdich in 2012] and we’ve managed to keep to our values as “Progressive Hebridean Distillers”. That idea is our philosophy and we’ve stuck by it since day one. We’re staying true to ourselves.

‘Though I worked as the shop manager and senior tour guide for a while (we get more than 30,000 visitors a year), my new role is now private client manager. I get to spend more time with all of our amazing clients, most of whom have been with us on this wonderful “Laddie”journey from the start and whom I now proudly call my friends. There’s nothing better for me than to take a client and show them their cask that I sold to them 10 years ago – it’s like visiting a member of the family. Some of them have a tear in their eye when they visit their cask; it’s a special moment.

For some of McGregor’s clients, visiting their cask is like visiting a member of their family

‘Coming back to Bruichladdich is like coming back to visit an old friend – it’s a comfort blanket.

‘I’ll give you an example. I’ve got a Swedish client that comes over twice a year, and he’s lived in the same part of Sweden all his life. When he comes to Islay and the Bruichladdich shop we all know him by his name. When he goes to the Co-op shop in Bowmore he’ll get an “Oh gosh you’re back again. Where are you staying? How long are you here for? It’s so nice to see you,” from everyone. He’ll drive along the road and everyone will wave to him with the “Islay wave”, as it is known. Once he told me, “Mary, I’ve stayed in the same area all my life and I don’t know my next-door neighbour’s name”. So that brings it home on what it means exactly to visit Islay. It’s the people that matter.

‘I know that we’re the whisky epicentre of the world, and we’ve got these beautiful beaches, but we also have amazing people, including everyone here at Bruichladdich. We’re all superstars.

‘My favourite Bruichladdich? The one for me that has the most powerful story behind it is the 40-year-old, as my dad was still working at the distillery at the time it was made. When we decided to release it in 2004 I had also lost my dad that year.

‘When we were putting it all together I said: “Gosh, can you believe that those casks have been sitting in Warehouse 6 all my life? I’ve been walking past that warehouse to go to school, to go on my first date and everything.” Jim McEwan then went and came back with a 200ml bottle for me, because he knew I couldn’t afford it at £1,000 a bottle. He said: “I want you and your brother to toast this for your dad on Christmas morning”. That’s exactly what we did, and that’s very close to my heart. I can’t ever forget that whisky.

‘I know this sounds a strange thing for me to say – although I am born and raised here, I now feel I have come home working here. Life is all about the people you meet and the places you visit in your life – I am very lucky in that I get to do all that on my own doorstep


Bruichladdich still prizes its 'progressive' status
Bruichladdich CEO Simon Coughlin was in Paris, giving a presentation to the board of the distillery’s new owner, Rémy Cointreau, when a PDF popped up on the screen. ‘Bruichladdich,’ it said, followed by ‘Progressive Hebridean Distillers’, the company’s favoured strapline. Then a glaring gap where some wording had obviously been removed.

Coughlin felt he had to say something. ‘That used to say “Fiercely Independent”,’ he informed the assembled suits, ‘but I guess that’s not appropriate any more.’ The response was instant: ‘Put it back,’ ordered Rémy’s then CEO, Jean-Marie Laborde, ‘and if you ever think there’s a problem with that, let me know.’

As Coughlin tells the story in his office in April 2016, almost four years after Rémy bought Bruichladdich for £58m, you can’t help wondering who would find it most reassuring: the single malt’s fanbase, many of them dismayed by the deal, or Coughlin and his colleagues on Islay.

‘We still believe we’re running our own company,’ he insists. ‘Yes, I do report to Paris and I do budgets, and we’ll get questioned on a few things, but I have to say we’re amazingly separate.’

And why does he think this is the case? ‘Once they had bought [the distillery] and been through due diligence, it dawned on them that they had something different and unique.

‘I know that, had this business been sold to one of our competitors, another Scotch whisky producer, the simple fact is that they would have destroyed much of what we have done here – warehousing the whisky here, bottling here. Everything we’ve stood for: bringing it all back to Islay.’

As evidence, Coughlin cites an incident from 2015 when the rake on the mash tun broke. Production was stopped for three months while an exact replacement part was sourced, which cost about half the price of an entire, brand-new tun. ‘We lost 300,000 litres that year,’ says Coughlin, ‘but Rémy said: “Fine – whatever you think’s right.” It’s a remarkable attitude.’

Bruichladdich lost 300,000 litres of production while its mash tun was repaired

A clear commitment to the island it calls home is one of the most prominent aspects of the Bruichladdich story as it has progressed since 2001. The largest private employer on Islay, it has a workforce of 72 (and 10 more in Glasgow). If plans to malt on-site come to fruition, that roster could near three figures.

Other aspects of Bruichladdich’s 21st-century character owe a lot to the past, and to the truism that necessity often proves to be the mother of invention. When Mark Reynier, Coughlin and their associates bought the distillery in 2000, most companies would have embarked on a huge modernisation programme; but they couldn’t afford to.

‘We were borrowing money to finance production, using stock as collateral,’ recalls Allan Logan, production director and one of the eight-strong team that brought Bruichladdich back to life. ‘The first few years was spent just trying to get the distillery properly up and running.’

Some investment was made – the mill was restored, and the cask management policy overhauled in line with the new focus on single malt – but now retired master distiller Jim McEwan was mostly stuck with what he’d got: old equipment and little by way of modern technology.

‘The place was in a tremendous state in December 2000,’ recalls Coughlin. ‘It hadn’t been painted for maybe 10 years. Jim would say there was never any investment went in. The irony is that’s really put us in a great place.

‘A lot of places have been re-engineered, modernised, computerised. But here there’s no pressure, no urgency to change it at all. It still works and produces great spirit.’ Necessity evolved into philosophy

You won’t find a computer screen in the Bruichladdich still house

Nonetheless, the hand-to-mouth nature of the early years did the old kit no favours. Bruichladdich has a notional production capacity of 2-2.2m litres pure alcohol a year; when it reopened, it was making about 250,000 litres. A gradual expansion followed, but only to about one-third capacity.

Now, under Rémy, the stills are hot 24 hours a day, 5.5 days a week (they get most of the weekend off). ‘It runs smoother 24 hours a day because we’re not constantly heating it up and cooling it down again,’ explains Coughlin. ‘The machinery doesn’t like that. The quality of the spirit today is the best we’ve made, partly because of the rhythm of the machinery, partly because of the quality of the barley.’

Ah yes, the barley. The wine background of Coughlin and Reynier has had a clear influence on the new Bruichladdich, both in terms of wood management (a huge array of ex-wine casks in the warehouses) and in a near-obsessive fascination with whisky’s raw material.

But the latter also owes much to Jim McEwan’s thoughts on the modernisation of the industry, points out Logan. ‘Barley and yeast were just commodities to be used as efficiently as possible,’ he explains.

‘So we started work on sourcing Scottish barley and having a more direct relationship with farmers. It sounds easy and very logical, but it was very difficult to get farmers to engage with such a small and young company.’

In 2003/4, Bruichladdich began buying barley from organic farmers on the Scottish mainland; in 2004, it sourced Islay-grown barley for the first time. Now the company has a direct relationship with 19 farmers, 14 of them on Islay, with that number set to increase.

This is an exercise in traceability and provenance, but also in flavour exploration. Different strains – including the ancient Bere variety – and different origins; the wine concept of terroir, you might say, brought to bear on Scotch whisky.

In 2013, regional trials began, using barley from three farms in three regions – Lothian, Aberdeen and Black Isle – kept separate from field to cask. Fifty tonnes from each farm in 2013; 100 tonnes in 2014; 200 tonnes last year.

‘There are very subtle differences in the new make,’ says Logan. ‘Not huge, but you wouldn’t expect it to be. The more experience we get, we can see the differences and if they’ve changed or are regular over the years.’

And what about in cask (so far, everything has gone into fresh ex-Bourbon barrels)? ‘We’re finding with Islay barley at six years old, we feel the differences are still there, but there’s a nice balance with the oak,’ says Logan. ‘With older Islay barley, the influence from the cask starts to get stronger and stronger.’

With the Scottish mainland regional trials only beginning in 2013, it’s clearly still early days; this is a project with years, if not decades, left to run.

It’s also work that feeds into the currently hot topic of transparency, following Compass Box’s run-in with the authorities and subsequent campaign launch. Even before the furore began, Bruichladdich had plans to reveal the detailed recipe for bottlings of its Classic Laddie NAS expression (cask type, year of distillation, number of casks in vatting, barley origin), but it took a few years to come to fruition.

‘Jim [McEwan] didn’t want to do it,’ explains Coughlin. ‘He’s a blender. His attitude was: “This is what I do; I’ll produce a good blend for you. Trust us.” The trouble is that doesn’t work today – there are discussion groups, forums. People want to know stuff.’

‘Amazingly separate’: Despite the Rémy acquisition, Simon Coughlin still feels quite independent

If the use of locally grown barley was an obvious extension to Bruichladdich’s Islay-centric philosophy, there’s still lots of potential to take that local connection further in other ways. Malting, for one – Bairds currently malts everything in Inverness, meaning quite a round trip for barley grown a stone’s throw from the distillery.

Coughlin says the company is ‘just starting’ to plan its own maltings, in two stages: first, for Islay-grown barley; second – maybe – for Scottish-grown barley. ‘That,’ he acknowledges, ‘would make a difference not just in the spirit, but in the emotional spirit of the place.’

Yeast is another potential area of exploration – to date, Bruichladdich has done little work here – as is, more glaringly, peat. The peated malt used for Bruichladdich’s smoky siblings, Port Charlotte and Octomore, is also produced at Bairds, using peat from the Black Isle.

‘We’d like to change that between now and having our own maltings,’ admits Coughlin. ‘It would be nice to work with Islay peat, but there are lots of factors involved in that, including how it’s cut.’ Indeed, an experimental load from Octofad Farm was rejected as unsuitable by Bairds. ‘We’re trying to use another peat source on Islay which isn’t Octofad, but is on the Rinns,’ says Coughlin.

The decision to go with Bairds in the first place came out of the company’s willingness to work with small batches in the early days at Bruichladdich. Coughlin contrasts this with Islay’s own maltings at Port Ellen, which he said had demanded bigger batches, six months’ notice before malting and money up front.

That peat will continue to be part of the Bruichladdich story is clear. Logan is convinced that it would have been used until 1962, when Bruichladdich closed its maltings, and spin-off peated variant Port Charlotte – which Coughlin would like to expand – is an attempt to replicate that.

The fiercely peaty Octomore, however, is another matter. ‘It was really a “what if” conversation,’ says Logan – one which began in a geeky discussion with Bairds about how they arrived at Port Charlotte’s desired peating level of 40 parts per million (ppm).

Bairds’ technique – in contrast to Port Ellen – was to malt a batch of barley at 60-70ppm, then blend that with non-peated to come back down to 40ppm. ‘Jim was asking about the 60-70ppm stuff,’ recalls Logan. ‘Could we distil that? Bairds wondered why we would want it, but we said we’d just like to try it.’ The first batch came over at 80ppm – and Octomore was in business.

Bruichladdich remains fiercely proud of its Islay roots

The overall product roster at Bruichladdich looks relatively settled today – production is still roughly split 70% Bruichladdich, 15% Port Charlotte and 15% Octomore – but the distillery’s range of expressions over the past 15 years has been frankly bewildering.

This was partly dictated by supply: in 2001, there was stock from the mid-1980s to 1993/4, plus some from 1998. Bruichladdich started out with 10-, 15- and 20-year-old expressions. Then the 10-year-old ran out, and the 15-year-old became a 16-, 17-, 18-year-old; then there were the Cuvée bottlings, recasking into ex-Murray McDavid wine casks, and so on…

This creative chaos had a few consequences, says Coughlin: ‘The core range went pear-shaped; we did crazy stuff; the retailers told us to stop releasing stuff. But it was exciting – we learned a lot about branding, cask maturation and so on. Then we thought: we need to get a grip.

‘It started to confuse the trade and customers and – quite frankly – us. The drams were great, but we started to wonder just what is Bruichladdich.’ A more disciplined and market-attuned strategy has ensued.

The story of Bruichladdich’s approach to new product development – shaped partly by pragmatism and the art of the possible, and partly by a ‘try anything’ creative philosophy – arguably stands for the business as a whole.

Things have certainly changed since the days when the now departed Mark Reynier ruffled feathers throughout the industry with his periodic outpourings. ‘Mark was quite gobby, but it did us no harm,’ says Coughlin now. ‘It got us a lot of coverage in the early days. There was a lot of provocative stuff going on. That innovation hasn’t left, but it calmed down for a bit while we got used to Rémy.

‘We’ve grown up. We’ve been around for 15 years. We’re not the new boys on the block any more. I think we know who we are now. We still like pushing the boundaries – but we’re not ripping up the textbook any more.’


BRUICHLADDICH TO BUILD OWN MALTINGS
2019
Bruichladdich is to build its own on-site maltings by 2023 as part of plans to ‘close the loop’ on its all-Islay production process.

Bruichladdich’s maltings will be ‘the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle’
The distillery currently grows 42% of its barley locally on the island, but sends it to Inverness for malting.

By building its own maltings within the distillery grounds, Bruichladdich hopes to be ‘more flexible’ with its barley experimentation, and further its investigation into barley provenance and traceability. However, the new maltings are still subject to planning approval.

The move will also see Bruichladdich oversee its entire production process, from growing the barley on its own fields, through to on-site maturation and bottling.

While the installation of a maltings will considerably reduce traffic on Islay’s struggling ferries and worn roads, Bruichladdich is also exploring renewable energy sources such as tidal, water turbine and biomass technologies, to reduce its carbon footprint.

In addition, Bruichladdich has acquired the 30 acres of Shore House Croft adjacent to the distillery, where it intends to develop barley trials and test sustainable farming practices.

The trials will involve growing different barley varieties not on the UK’s Recommended Growing List that are suited to the extreme weather conditions of Scotland’s west coast.

Each will be assessed for their viability and flavour potential for whisky.

The distillery currently makes 13 different styles of spirit using different peating levels and barley varieties, to make its three whisky brands, Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore.

Bruichladdich uses 42% locally-grown barley to make its whisky

Douglas Taylor, Bruichladdich CEO, said: ‘Running a business from an island makes us distinctly aware that our social, economic and environmental impact must be a positive one. We feel strongly about our responsibility to the island and the people of Islay.

‘In recent years, we have endeavoured to be more sustainable in our operations and more environmental in our actions. Some have been straightforward, like stopping using bottled water and introducing the use of electric vehicles, or more complicated, like habitat protection, wildlife corridor agreements with landowners for barley growing or engineering a solution that re-uses the hot waste-water from distillation.

‘These actions are just the beginning of a long-term vision; to be more sustainable in all we do, and to leave behind a bright future for generations to come.’

The distillery also has plans to increase its warehousing. Having already built two new warehouses over the past three years, it intends to raise a further four in the coming years.

31st August to the 1st September 2010.

.
MARY MCGREGOR, BRUICHLADDICH
2019
As distillery shop manager, and now private client manager, Mary McGregor has become a familiar, welcoming face for whisky lovers walking through Bruichladdich’s blue gates. She tells about growing up behind the distillery, and a special 40-year-old whisky gifted by Jim McEwan.

Local resident: Ileach Mary McGregor assisted with the reopening of Bruichladdich in 2001
‘I grew up on Gartacharra, our family farm located behind Bruichladdich. I’ve found written records that our family has had it at least since 1830, but it probably goes farther back. The maternal side of my paternal family were on Islay a lot longer than those records too. My paternal McGregor side comes from the Trossachs area outside Glasgow. They’re relative newcomers – they’ve only been here on Islay for 200 years or so.

‘The farm is still in the family and my brother runs it. When I was a child it was a dairy farm, then we moved on to cattle and sheep, and now these days it’s mostly beef cattle.

‘If you ever look at a map of Islay, there wouldn’t be much writing on it unless we wrote out the names of all the hills and fields ourselves. Even our fields have names. So right across Warehouse 12 (I call it “The Cathedral”), the name of that field is “Canada”. I like the idea that we’re growing the barley for Bruichladdich in “Canada”.

‘My dad used to help take the barley from the pier. It was delivered by boats called puffers which were the lifeline for the island up until the middle of the last century, as they delivered everything to the islands. He would unload the barley off the puffer with one of his beloved horses and take it to the malt floor located above the mill house.

‘He also collected the draff from the distillery to feed his cattle. Us children would go along with him to shovel it into the trailer whilst he went upstairs to have a dram with the manager of the time. We would play hide-and-seek in the stillhouse and get chased by the stillman – what an amazing playground to have. Farm children never got holidays, we just worked on the farm helping with all the different and varied jobs to do for each season, which made us very resourceful when it came to playtime. We made a swing using the branches of an old tree, and we used an old barrel and a plank of wood to make a see-saw; hay bales also make a great den.

Even the barley used for Bruichladdich has been grown by the McGregors

‘My dad, both my grandfathers, cousins, uncles and aunts have all worked at the distillery and my great-grandfather helped build it in 1881. I started working at Bruichladdich in 2003 although I did assist in the very beginning when Mark [Reynier] bought the distillery. I was mostly in the office, filing and answering the phone. I was lucky to be in the distillery the day the first spirit ran. What an emotional day that was. Jim [McEwan] and Duncan [McGillivray] and all the boys were laughing and dancing around the stillhouse. I’m sure a few tears were shed around the island that day too.

‘Since then, we’ve not really changed since the takeover[Rémy Cointreau bought Bruichladdich in 2012] and we’ve managed to keep to our values as “Progressive Hebridean Distillers”. That idea is our philosophy and we’ve stuck by it since day one. We’re staying true to ourselves.

‘Though I worked as the shop manager and senior tour guide for a while (we get more than 30,000 visitors a year), my new role is now private client manager. I get to spend more time with all of our amazing clients, most of whom have been with us on this wonderful “Laddie”journey from the start and whom I now proudly call my friends. There’s nothing better for me than to take a client and show them their cask that I sold to them 10 years ago – it’s like visiting a member of the family. Some of them have a tear in their eye when they visit their cask; it’s a special moment.

For some of McGregor’s clients, visiting their cask is like visiting a member of their family

‘Coming back to Bruichladdich is like coming back to visit an old friend – it’s a comfort blanket.

‘I’ll give you an example. I’ve got a Swedish client that comes over twice a year, and he’s lived in the same part of Sweden all his life. When he comes to Islay and the Bruichladdich shop we all know him by his name. When he goes to the Co-op shop in Bowmore he’ll get an “Oh gosh you’re back again. Where are you staying? How long are you here for? It’s so nice to see you,” from everyone. He’ll drive along the road and everyone will wave to him with the “Islay wave”, as it is known. Once he told me, “Mary, I’ve stayed in the same area all my life and I don’t know my next-door neighbour’s name”. So that brings it home on what it means exactly to visit Islay. It’s the people that matter.

‘I know that we’re the whisky epicentre of the world, and we’ve got these beautiful beaches, but we also have amazing people, including everyone here at Bruichladdich. We’re all superstars.

‘My favourite Bruichladdich? The one for me that has the most powerful story behind it is the 40-year-old, as my dad was still working at the distillery at the time it was made. When we decided to release it in 2004 I had also lost my dad that year.

‘When we were putting it all together I said: “Gosh, can you believe that those casks have been sitting in Warehouse 6 all my life? I’ve been walking past that warehouse to go to school, to go on my first date and everything.” Jim McEwan then went and came back with a 200ml bottle for me, because he knew I couldn’t afford it at £1,000 a bottle. He said: “I want you and your brother to toast this for your dad on Christmas morning”. That’s exactly what we did, and that’s very close to my heart. I can’t ever forget that whisky.

‘I know this sounds a strange thing for me to say – although I am born and raised here, I now feel I have come home working here. Life is all about the people you meet and the places you visit in your life – I am very lucky in that I get to do all that on my own doorstep.


NEW VINTAGES JOIN BRUICHLADDICH BARLEY RANGE
August 2019
Bruichladdich has released three new whisky vintages in its Barley Exploration series – The Organic 2010, Bere Barley 2010 and Islay Barley 2011.

Bruichladdich Barley Exploration series
Growing up: Three new vintages join Bruichladdich’s Barley Exploration series
The trio of malts are said to represent the ‘what, where and how’ of Bruichladdich’s barley growing programme across Scotland.

Adam Hannett, head distiller for Bruichladdich, said: ‘We want to support people who grow for flavour, those champions of heritage and natural crops.

‘By partnering with [farmers], we can find new and long-forgotten flavours, reconnecting our whisky with its vital raw ingredient.’

Bruichladdich The Organic 2010 is an eight-year-old malt matured in American oak casks and bottled at 50% abv.

Priced at £75 per 70cl bottle, the whisky is said to contain notes of ‘vanilla, caramel and pastry’ notes on the nose with ‘sweet pear drops, chocolate and marzipan’ on the palate.

The Organic has been made from barley grown at Mid Coul Farms in Inverness without the use of pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers.

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010 has been made using the rare barley strain grown on Weyland & Watersfield, Richmond Villa, Quoyberstane and Northfield Farms.

Bere barley has a ‘desperately low yield’ – up to 50% less than other varieties, but is said to impart a ‘unique’ flavour profile to whisky.

Priced at £75 per 70cl bottle, Bere Barley 2010 is an eight-year-old single malt matured in American oak casks and bottled at 50% abv.

The whisky is said to be ‘dominated by cereal, porridge and malty notes’ on the nose with ‘peaches, syrup, cinder toffee and apricot jam’ on the palate.

Island grain: The six-year-old single malt is made from 100% Islay-grown barley

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011 has been matured in 75% ex-Bourbon American oak casks and 25% ex-wine Spanish oak casks.

A six-year-old single malt priced at £55 per 70cl bottle, the whisky is said to be full of ‘apple, pear and gooseberry’ on the nose with ‘lemon, kiwi and caramel wafter’ on the palate.

Islay Barley 2011 has been distilled entirely from barley grown on Islay.

All three whiskies are available on the Bruichladdich website and in specialist stores across the UK, appearing in international markets later in the year.

Earlier this year Bruichladdich planted 60 different barley varietals in test plots surrounding the distillery, to explore which strains grow best on Scotland’s weather-beaten west coast.

The distillery has also confirmed plans to build its own maltings by 2023, which will process all Islay-grown barley for its Organic, Bere and Islay expressions.

BRUICHLADDICH
BERE BARLEY 2010
WEYLAND AND WATERSFIELD, QUOYBERSTANE, NORTHFIELD & RICHMOND VILLA FARMS
£70.00 inc UK VAT

Bere Barley is a six-row heritage variety that has long since been forgotten from the modern world of standardised whisky making. Its revival into present day has taken effort and resilience from an entire network of millers, growers and agronomists. Our Bere project is dedicated to those like-minded souls, who have preserved a legacy and found modern applications in flavourful food and drinks, whatever the odds. This Bruichladdich Bere Barley was distilled in 2010 from a 2009 harvest, brought home by Peter, John, Magnus, Sydney and Duncan on the Orkney Islands.

REVOLUTIONARY OLD IDEAS
IN BARLEY
5TH AUGUST 2019/BY CHRISTY MCFARLANE
Sixty years have passed since a post ration-book Britain spent an average of 30% of their household expenditure on food. That figure has dropped to just 16% in 2018. Averages in the USA saw a similar decline from the 1960s, from 18% to 10%.

Western societies are spending more on housing and travel than generations before but have become accustomed to cheap food and cheap fashion. When the green revolution improved the productivity of agriculture, more volume was demanded for less money. But what was the real cost?

The price of a convenience culture is slowly becoming apparent. We have rapidly disconnected from a wholesome ideal of growing our own, of bartering and eventually of knowing how our farming systems work. Our supermarkets are filled with under-priced, over-packaged, out-of-season produce.

Somewhere in the throes of feeding a nation, we moved away from a ‘farmer first’ mentality. We became so obsessed with yield that we lost touch with what was interesting, diverse, flavoursome and sustainable.

While agricultural productivity was put under increasing pressure, Bruichladdich refuted the rising demand for efficiency. As a distillery that ironically called ourselves progressive, we broke away from the teeth of modern industrialisation and instead looked to traditional, pre-war practices for inspiration. Where the industry used aged statements, we celebrated each vintage of our barley’s harvest. We went back to slow distillation and resurrecting ancient varietals, back to the idea that community, not commodity, is everything.

HOW HAS FARMING CHANGED OVER THE LAST 250 YEARS?
IN EXPLORING HISTORY
7TH AUGUST 2019/BY JEZ FREDENBURGH
Agriculture has gone through seismic changes, driven by everything from science and technology, to population pressures, World Wars, and shifts in the global economy. Wordwide, farming is now worth $2.4 trillion – but how did it get to where it is now? Guest writer, Jez Fredenburgh finds out.

FARMING REVOLUTIONS AND WARS
Throughout history, big changes in farming have heralded huge shifts in society. By the end of the 19th Century, British farming had gone through its Second Agricultural Revolution, with wealthy lords turfing smaller farmers off public land, causing a huge migration to cities and paving the way for the Industrial Revolution.

Farming became an altogether different beast as land was drained or cleared, and high-yielding arable crops, such as wheat and barley, were introduced with crop rotations and nitrogen-fixing legumes, all boosting yields like never before.

The invention of the internal-combustion engine saw tractors replace horses, and the invention of the Haber-Bosch technique created chemical fertilisers – both huge moments which saw a further intensification of farming.

During the Second World War, countries sought to increase their self-sufficiency, as trading routes were redrawn. In Britain, the government poured cash into food production and farmers could suddenly afford more chemical fertilisers and newly-developed pesticides.

This rapidly increased production and the value of gross agricultural output in Britain rose by an incredible two-thirds between 1939-1942. In Scotland, the area under tillage increased by 639,000 acres in four years, with wheat and barley production more than doubling.

Farmers ramped up production even more in the years to come, when the UK joined the European Economic Community. Under Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, farmers were paid to concentrate on food production, including ripping up hedges to increase land area. From 1940-80, the UK went from 30% to 80% self-sufficient in crops, while becoming a net exporter of grains.

At the same time, the so-called ‘Green Revolution’ was taking off in big developing countries, with the use of more chemical inputs, irrigation technologies, and mechanisation. Huge leaps forward were made in plant breeding and genetics, largely led by American Norman Borlaug, who helped develop high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat varieties in Mexico.

As a result of all these changes, global cereal production increased by 280% between 1961 and 2014. Today, the world can produce almost three times as much cereal from a given area of land than it did in 1961.

ORGANIC FARMING: GETTING TECHNICAL
IN BARLEY
2ND AUGUST 2019/BY JEZ FREDENBURGH
Demand for organic produce has reached an all-time high in the UK. The market is now estimated to be worth a total £2.33 billion – its highest ever valuation. Conventional farming is still in the majority, but the area of land being converted to organic production is growing as producers see the environmental and economic opportunities.

What are the other benefits that make it worthwhile? And how exactly does it work? Our guest correspondent Jez Fredenburgh investigates:

Also known as ‘ecological’ and ‘biological’ agriculture, organic farming puts environmental, animal welfare, food quality, human health, and socio-economic aims at its heart. But besides not working with chemical fertilisers and pesticides, what are organic farmers actually doing and why?

DIVERSE MIXED SYSTEMS
Continuously growing the same crops, or just arable crops, on one area of land can cause weeds, pests and diseases to build up, and soil nutrients to be depleted. Organic farms therefore work with a diverse array of crops and animals which are rotated round the farm to help break cycles of pests and disease, and build soil fertility.

Ideally, a balance of crops is grown between those that build up soil nutrients and fertility (such as clover which fixes nitrogen), and crops which extract these nutrients at harvest. Grassland, which livestock graze on, is often an important part of an organic farm. It fertilises itself by fixing nitrogen, while the dung of the animals adds nutrients back into the soil.

According to Soil Association Scotland, farmers growing crops in lowland areas get better yields if their soils have been fed by livestock. Grazing livestock also help manage pasture habitats by keeping weeds at bay.

Diverse, organic farms benefit biodiversity too – they have been found to have more plant and floral diversity, more earthworms, insects, butterflies, and some types of birds.

Many of these insects, such as bees and hoverflies, help pollinate crops and are therefore critical to our food system. They also save farmers money – it is estimated that the cost to Scottish agriculture of doing what pollinators do would be around £43m.

HEALTHY SOILS AND PEST MANAGEMENT
Organically-farmed soils have been found to have 21% higher levels of soil organic matter on average, than non-organic soils, according to The Soil Association.

Soil is a farmer’s greatest asset, particularly for organic farmers who cannot add synthetic fertilisers. Instead, they use natural methods to maintain soil structure, biological activity, and fertility. Organic manures, either from livestock or as compost, are regularly applied to soils, recycling nutrients from animal feed and bedding, and from vegetable tops and weeds.

This maximises soil humus (nutritious, decomposing organic matter which includes soil microorganisms and benefits soil structure), and microbial activity (which breaks down organic matter into nutrients plants can make use of). Earthworms benefit from this increased organic matter, helping to improve soil structure and nutrients, so the land can better cope with stresses like drought, or large volumes of rain. Further improving the soil structure, direct drilling or minimum tillage is used instead of the traditional ploughing in order to minimise disturbance and erosion.

Since organic farmers do not use synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or GM varieties, they practice natural methods for controlling pests and disease, such as managing habitats to encourage natural predators. To outcompete weeds, farmers might sow a higher density of seeds, alter the time they sow, sow more than one crop at a time, or not grow crops that are susceptible to similar pests and disease in succession.

ALTERNATIVE BENEFITS
According to The Soil Association, organic farming currently offers the best, practical model for growing climate-friendly food. Nearly 25% of Scottish farming’s greenhouse gas emissions come from nitrogen fertilisers, and since organic farming does not use fossil-fuel based fertilisers or chemicals, it offers a chance to reduce these emissions.

In addition, agricultural soils store an estimated 9.8 billion tonnes of carbon, and if managed well, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, if they are badly managed they can become a source of emissions.

Soils from organic farms often have more soil organic matter (which puts carbon back into the soil) and potential for long-term carbon storage, than soils from non-organic farms, according to research.

In Scotland, many organic farmers are also involved in restoring peatland, helping to lock greenhouse gases into the land.

With rising public consciousness around sustainability, consumers are increasingly looking for food with ‘green’ benefits. Farmers are recognising this and increasingly looking at how they can be part of the solution to tackling big issues like climate change. Let’s hope organic production, with its potential to address the current ecological and environmental crisis, has an optimistic future ahead.

Read more about the farm featured on our current vintage of Bruichladdich The Organic 2010 here or discover more about our barley obsessions.


THE PAST
STARTING FROM SCRATCH
Our fascination with ingredients arguably started long before we re-opened the gates of Bruichladdich at the turn of the millennium. Our principle founders, in Simon Coughlin and Mark Reynier, had built up a life-long experience of dealing with fine wine, and the esoteric concept of terroir.

Having worked in an industry where each campaign, each appellation, each nuance, origin and growing condition was poured over, their entry into Scotch whisky was revelatory. The whisky world, especially at that time, was nothing like wine. It was largely designed to mass produce blended Scotch, where full tankers could be swapped with ease, and products were standardised to look and taste the same in every country for the lowest price possible.

The industry’s departure from ideals of care and connection was stark. Bruichladdich would not conform to zero-traceability or the anonymity of the growing community. We would not prioritise yield over flavour, and we would be driven by curiosity not cost.

No… conforming would never have been an option for the new-age Bruichladdich. We had to dismiss the system and reinvent our own approach to barley.

THOSE EARLY FIRST STEPS INTO OUR BARLEY EXPLORATION HAVE BEEN PIVOTAL FOR BRUICHLADDICH…

2001
100% SCOTTISH BEGINS
Our distillery is resurrected after 7 years of closure. We begin our commitment to provenance by only ever sourcing 100% Scottish barley, with support from our malting partner Bairds.

ORGANIC BARLEY FIRST HARVESTED
We distil organically grown barley for the first time. Barley raised by William Rose at Mid Coul Farms continues to be a feature in our organic repertoire for years to come.

2003
2004
ISLAY BARLEY FIRST GROWN
Islay-barley pioneer Raymond Stewart sows barley for Bruichladdich at Kentraw Farm. It is distilled that same year and is the first Islay grown barley to be distilled in recent times.

BERE BARLEY GROWN ON ISLAY
Bruichladdich begin a partnership with the Agronomy Institute in Orkney, where the latter supplies seed to plant 6-row heritage variety named Bere. Islay farmers take on the task until 2009, when is it solely grown on the Orkney islands.

2005
2014
REGIONAL TRIALS EXPERIMENT INITIATED
The same variety of barley is planted in four different regions in Scotland, in the Black Isle near Inverness (north), in Turriff in Aberdeenshire (east) at Ransefield in the Lothians (south), and on our farming partners land on Islay (west). The experiment sees us further our exploration of terroir in whisky.

ISLAY GROWN RYE
Andrew Jones at Coull Farm grows Islay rye and we distil it that same year for what we believe is the first time in Islay’s history. Rye may become an interesting rotational crop for us in the future.

2017
2018
PURCHASE OF SHORE HOUSE CROFT
We purchase 30 acres of unused croft land next to the distillery grounds. The land will be used as an unofficial R&D site, furthering our agricultural expertise in-house.

TRIAL PLOTS PLANTED
Sixty different varieties of barley and wheat are planted on our croft land. We plan to plant varieties each year, in the hope of finding a varietal that will be better suited to Scotland’s unique west coast conditions.

2019
2023
PROPOSED INSTALLATION OF MALTINGS
Subject to planning permission, we will install on-site maltings at Bruichladdich Distillery. It is intended that all Islay Barley, including Bere, organic and Regional Trial batches will be malted here.

100% GREEN ENERGY?
Bruichladdich is currently exploring several renewable energy sources. The feasibility of tidal, water turbine and biomass technologies or a combination of all three are still being assessed but we hope to make significant progress towards using green energy by 2030.

2030
THE PRESENT
SHARING SUCCESS
Since our first foray into barley exploration 18 short years ago, we have slowly built a fascinating catalogue of barley-forward spirits. While they mature in our warehouses, we have fallen into a rhythm of celebrating each new vintage when they are ready to be released. Our exploration of terroir in whisky is far from over, but it has begun to meander into a more holistic approach.

As we reconnected with our primary raw ingredient, we inevitably reconnected with agriculture and the challenges the farming community face, from the minutiae to the macro. With an average of 17 local Islay farmers now providing barley for the distillery each year, we realise that the whisky industry is booming but the farming community is largely left behind.

Barely Growers

Local farms on Islay have diversified from dairy to beef and then to mixed farming, showing agility and resilience. But we are uniquely aware that working from a microcosm, on Scotland’s remote west coast, results in an added challenge to access mainland markets. The conditions of barley growing on Scotland’s west coast are far from ideal, but at least in our case, we offered a diversified a market and brought it to our local community’s doorstep. Could this be replicated into other areas, other crops even, other than barley?

Small but fruitful experiments are underway behind the scenes.

In 2017, we announced that we had grown and distilled Islay rye in partnership with Andrew Jones. The benefits are mutual. Andrew includes an extra crop in his rotation; reducing wind erosion, improving soil structure, conserving moisture and reducing run-off. He sells it directly to us and has a guaranteed market. We distil a deeply flavourful spirit of unparalleled provenance.

This approach to an Islay ecosystem, with a symbiotic relationship between agriculture and distillation, must be the future of whisky in Scotland.


GROWING HIGH-PROVENANCE
BARLEY FOR
BRUICHLADDICH
SINCE 2003

THE FUTURE
A NECESSARY RESTLESSNESS
Connection has become a key theme throughout our exploration of barley. Connection to the raw ingredient and to a farming community has resulted in what we hope will be an optimistic future for our local ecosystem. In a dream scenario, this early prosperity would influence others within Scotland to look harder at their supply chain and spread value deeper into their own network.

Our recent small steps to become more responsible and sustainable, have made us question the real meaning behind innovation in Scotch. If we are to continue to challenge ourselves, with a restless curiosity, and adapt to today’s challenging environmental conditions, it must be with purpose and intent and benefit for those beyond ourselves. We must develop relationships that support one another if there’s to be progress and a feeling of something new. And if our small nation is to prosper, there must be an interdependency between agriculture, renewable energy and distilling.

We have big dreams for the future but our optimism stems from a journey that has been hard yet rewarding thus far.

Knowing what we know now, we are certain our barley exploration will be ongoing and finite. More importantly, it will extend beyond the world’s most complex cereal into a more profound approach to making single malt whisky.

BRUICHLADDICH BERE BARLEY 8 YEARS OLD, DISTILLED 2010
SCORE
90
Scoring explained >
Bruichladdich Bere Barley 8 Years Old, Distilled 2010
ABV
50%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Islay
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fragrant & Floral
NOSE
First up is a fresh cereal note with light dusty earthiness, closely followed by demerara sugar on porridge and dried pineapple. Then things swing back towards the grain, with cashews and grilled hazelnut, while the dry elements shift to an undertone of baking powder and climber’s chalk. It swings around once again: now it’s pollen and some lemon with unripe banana. Water takes things off into this sweeter area, with pear, apricot and peach blossom.

PALATE
There’s a sweetness on the tip of the tongue as the light fruits make their mark before, once again, toasted nuts begin to move in. Just before it dries completely there’s a release of oils which help to stretch the flavours out. Now there’s some mace-like spice added to the delicate fruits and, finally, some sweet oak. Water brings out green sencha tea and buttercups without losing any intensity.

FINISH
Orchard fruit, then as it dries, peanut brittle emerges for one last time.

CONCLUSION
Bere continues to be a revelation. This somehow seems to move in opposite directions while remaining balanced. Remarkable for its age and, like all of this range, marked in its competitive set.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
A sense of Time and Place.


BRUICHLADDICH ISLAY BARLEY 7 YEARS OLD, DISTILLED 2011
SCORE
88
Scoring explained >
Bruichladdich Islay Barley 7 Years Old, Distilled 2011
ABV
50%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Islay
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
The most robust of the trio. Once again, there’s a cereal note, but this time it’s more bakery-like with rising bread dough. Then comes a buttery quality which initially seems to come from the oak – there’s added hot gorse and lactone – but is as much driven by the distillate as it is by wood. Behind all of this is the bright intensity of yuzu and a herbal-floral element that brings to mind meadowsweet and stewed apple.

It steadily becomes fatter and funkier. Add water and this breadth of character becomes more overt, mixing butter tablet with silage, pear, hay and, in time, tallow.

PALATE
That sweet fudge element kicks things off alongside a mix of lemon, grapefruit peel and a little banana before it thickens and becomes more silky. There’s hints of almond and coconut oil, a prickle of peppery heat and some maltiness. Water helps to bunch up the spicy elements which start to sizzle in butter.

FINISH
Relaxes into soft fruits.

CONCLUSION
Already showing great concentration and balance. Yes, there’s oak playing its hand here, but the distillate character is very different to both the bere and the organic.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Andmoreagain.

BRUICHLADDICH THE ORGANIC 8 YEARS OLD, DISTILLED 2010
SCORE
87
Scoring explained >
Bruichladdich The Organic 8 Years Old, Distilled 2010
ABV
50%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Islay
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fragrant & Floral
NOSE
The sweetest and most lifted of the set. You’re straight into apple danish, honey and apricot jam. It then starts to open into estery notes of pineapple chunks, melon, greengage jam and that recurring apple note. Water pulls things down a little, adding depth, a hint of vanilla, sweet fruits and a touch of steamed green tea leaves.

PALATE
There’s light fruit (and some syrup) to start with that drifts into elderflower cordial and ginger, with a hint of calming chamomile that links itself to the subtle touches of oak. There’s a bite of citrus in the centre – more tangerine than the lemon seen in the others – before things once more become creamy and soft. Water helps to further promote this yielding quality and while things remain soft and perfumed, there’s still a bright estery quality.

FINISH
Fragrant. Abernethy’s salted butter.

CONCLUSION
Fresh yet fruity, soft yet vibrant. All three are clearly related, yet all are significantly different. The exploration continues.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
We enter The Gentle Softness
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FEATURES
WHISKY MAKERS REDISCOVER BERE BARLEY
Bere barley has been grown in Scotland for at least 1,000 years, and probably much longer. Now this ancient crop is being revived – and whisky is playing its part. Richard Woodard reports.
Oldest inhabitant: Bere barley has been grown in Orkney for up to 4,000 years
The exposed fields of Orkney are hardly ideal arable farming country. Bleak and windswept, with an all-too-brief growing season, it’s little surprise that conventional barley varieties struggle to ripen here. Better to keep a few cattle, or sheep.
And yet barley is grown in Orkney; barley of a particular type. It’s a distinctive, tall, six-row crop with an annoying tendency to ‘lodge’ – the flattening effect seen when the stems bend over to the ground. But at least you can get it ripe.
This is bere barley, and it’s been in Orkney for at least a millennium, and probably for much longer. ‘Bere is probably the oldest cultivated barley, definitely in Britain and probably one of the oldest still in cultivation in Europe,’ says Peter Martin, director of the Agronomy Institute at Orkney College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).
The name ‘bere’ – pronounced ‘bear’ – is close to the Anglo-Saxon for barley, and it is also sometimes referred to as ‘bigg/bygg/bygge’, from the Old Norse word for the crop.
‘Exactly how old is it? We don’t know,’ admits Martin. ‘It’s definitely been grown here for 1,000 years, but there may be evidence further back in the archaeological record. Barley has been grown in Orkney as far back as 4,000BC and the introduction of agriculture.’
In contrast to modern, scientifically bred barley varieties, bere is a ‘landrace’, meaning it has gradually evolved and adapted to local growing conditions as successive generations of farmers choose the seeds from the best plants for the following year’s crop, in a kind of human-assisted process of natural selection.
Distinctive character: Bere barley is a six-row, rather than two-row, barley variety
So bere grows rapidly during the long summer days of northern latitudes, ripening three weeks before modern varieties, despite being planted as late as May. This minimises the risk of crop failure caused by poor weather at either end of the growing season. Bere also tolerates a wide variety of poor-quality soils, from acidic and peat-rich to sandy and alkaline.
And yet, 20 years ago, it was all but extinct, rendered apparently obsolete by higher-yielding modern malting varieties such as Concerto and Odyssey. By the start of the 21st century, there was as little as 10 hectares of bere grown in Scotland, by a handful of farmers on Orkney, Shetland and in the Western Isles.
Revival came, initially, through baking. Barony Mill, a 19th-century Orkney watermill, began using beremeal (flour) to make bannocks, biscuits and bread. From 2002, the UHI started researching bere’s characteristics and end uses – including brewing and distillation.
But making whisky with bere barley is nothing new. It was used extensively in the past; for example, during the boom years of Campbeltown, as ‘gauger’ or exciseman Joseph Pacy discovered when he was posted there in 1834:
‘The peat-dried malt from which this whiskey was produced was made from grain designated in Scotland “Bere or Bigg”, a small kind of barley grown on the light sandy soil of that country. The tax on that description of malt was something like one-fifth less than that on malt made from [modern] barley, a kind of boon or protection to the grower of this lighter kind of grain.’
(The Reminiscences of a Gauger, Imperial Taxation, Past and Present Compared, pp.66-67)
Bere experts: Peter Martin (right) and John Wishart of the UHI have conducted extensive research
As demand soared and supplies ran short on Kintyre, distillers tried to pass off conventional barley from Ireland as bere in order to reap the tax benefits. Pacy investigated, the culprits were fined and forfeited their malt – and the gauger became deeply unpopular with the locals as a result.
Orkney distillery Highland Park’s barley books record purchases of bere back to the 1880s, and as late as the early 1920s – but there the whisky trail for bere goes cold for more than half a century.
When bere whisky resurfaces, it is as a curiosity: a one-off independent bottling by the late Michel Couvreur of bere barley grown on Westray, floor-malted at Highland Park and distilled at Edradour in 1986, which was released in the mid-1990s.
In 2004, Isle of Arran Distillers collaborated with the UHI on a whisky made with Orkney bere, bottling the result at eight and 10 years, while Springbank has worked with Kintyre-grown bere periodically, including a 2013 distillate scheduled for release in 2028 to mark the Campbeltown distillery’s bicentenary.
The biggest champion of bere whisky today, however, is Bruichladdich. Following the Islay’s distillery’s revival in 2001, bere’s status as an outlier barley variety ticking the boxes of heritage, provenance and terroir was hugely appealing. Bere was planted on Islay in 2005, but it never took; the project was abandoned in 2009, with the last years’ failed crops used for animal feed.
Since then, the distillery has sourced its bere, through Martin and the UHI, from a handful of Orkney farmers, resulting in a succession of releases, including most recently the Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010 single malt launched in August.
Tall and heavy: As a ‘landrace’, bere barley has evolved to adapt to local growing conditions
But it hasn’t been easy. ‘It broke the mash tun the first time we worked with it,’ says Bruichladdich communications manager Christy McFarlane. ‘The husk is so hard. We’ve had to reduce the tonnage. And it gets stuck in the mill.’
It was a similar story on Arran, says Isle of Arran Distillers MD Euan Mitchell: ‘I do recall our distillery manager at the time, Gordon Mitchell, saying the bere malt was tricky to work with and clogged up the mash tun. His actual words were a bit coarser than that…’
Another drawn to the romance of bere was Alasdair Day, co-founder of Isle of Raasay distillery owner R&B Distillers. ‘The whole story resonated with me when we turned up on Raasay,’ he recalls. ‘I said: “We want to grow barley here.” The local crofter just fell off his chair laughing and said we couldn’t do that because it wouldn’t ripen.’
Day was vindicated – sort of. Bere was planted on Raasay in 2017, the year the distillery opened, and it did ripen. ‘It’s really hard to describe, but it just felt at home – like it was meant to grow there. It was really tall, with long straw and, as a six-row barley, really top-heavy.’
However, the crop went unharvested, thanks to a lack of the right infrastructure and machinery, and not helped by bere’s tendency to ‘lodge’ or flatten when battered by the Raasay elements.
‘It’s something I would go back to,’ says Day. ‘The holy grail is flavour, but as a young distillery you have to be aware of yield as well. If we had the infrastructure, I would certainly persevere.’
Bannock time: Barony Mill in Birsay, Orkney, was a pioneer of bere’s recent revival
Bere is expensive, both financially and in terms of lost spirit yield. The Arran bere malt was roughly twice the price of regular malt in the mid-2000s, and the spirit yield was 15% lower. That broadly reflects the experience at Bruichladdich – production director Allan Logan reckons bere’s tonnage per acre is about half that of conventional two-row barley.
‘The yield is also much less,’ adds McFarlane, ‘but we don’t really care, because it’s all about flavour.’
What flavour?
‘Full-on flavour. I’m quite certain that, in a blind taste test, people would be able to tell the difference, even after time in cask. There is this very unctuous, sweet, well-rounded quality to bere barley.’
Mitchell agrees. ‘The yield was quite low, but the resultant whisky was superb, particularly the cask strength version at 10 years old. Full of oils and a rich, gristy-malty flavour. It’s definitely a case of quirky flavours over high-yielding profitability.’
There are plans for Arran’s new Lagg distillery to work with bere in the future – Mitchell says it was the barley type used at the historic Lagg distillery – while Bruichladdich is continuing its commitment to bere, and to the Orkney farmers who grow it.
Bere has also returned to Islay, part of Bruichladdich’s extensive barley trials currently under way at Shore House Croft. So far, the signs have been far from encouraging, but it’s a long-term project.
Bere whisky: Bruichladdich is willing to pay more and sacrifice yield for the sake of flavour
But there’s much more to bere barley than whisky; more to it even than the bere beers brewed on Orkney, or Barony Mill’s bannocks and bread. Researchers are particularly interested in bere’s genetic diversity, which could help to future-proof cereal farming against issues related to climate change and food security.
‘There are some beres that seem to have a remarkable tolerance to growing on sandy soils with a deficiency of trace elements such as manganese, copper and zinc,’ explains Martin. ‘Beres on the Western Isles, but also in Orkney and Shetland, are able to grow on sandy soils without any additional applications of these trace elements. The modern variety just doesn’t grow – or it will grow, but not yield grain.’
In time, it is hoped that these unique traits could be bred into modern barley varieties, creating new bere hybrids with the ability to grow and ripen in a far wider variety of locations. Such a development, Martin says, could have global significance.
For whisky, the work of the International Barley Hub – due to open at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie in 2022 – will be pivotal. Even now, says Day, there are early signs of hybridisation occurring where bere is growing alongside modern malting barley variety Concerto. ‘The trick, I suppose,’ he adds, ‘will be to get bere’s earliness with shorter straw and better yields.’
If that can be accomplished, without sacrificing the distinctive flavour and texture that make bere so attractive to whisky makers, then we could soon see its plantings expand out of Orkney to Raasay, Islay and beyond; and the future of this historic – maybe prehistoric – barley will be brighter than ever.FADVERTISEMENT
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BLACK ART 07.1

1994. A last batch of new-make spirit is stowed in our Islay warehouses before the gates of Bruichladdich are shut and shackled by the then owners. No one knew what the future would hold, nor what was to follow for the distillery and the casks held within its walls.
For this edition of the enigmatic series, Adam Hannett has turned to the final work of that previous generation. Distilled by his forebears, developing through those dark years, Adam has added his own confident influence to the spirit - his ‘Black Art’. The Head Distillers' craft passed down through the years, like the whisky it is responsible for bringing together.
The limited stock of this release is now making its way to a shelf near you. If you can't wait that long, it's available via our website.
BUY NOW






BLACK ART 07.1

1994. A last batch of new-make spirit is stowed in our Islay warehouses before the gates of Bruichladdich are shut and shackled by the then owners. No one knew what the future would hold, nor what was to follow for the distillery and the casks held within its walls.
For this edition of the enigmatic series, Adam Hannett has turned to the final work of that previous generation. Distilled by his forebears, developing through those dark years, Adam has added his own confident influence to the spirit - his ‘Black Art’. The Head Distillers' craft passed down through the years, like the whisky it is responsible for bringing together.
The limited stock of this release is now making its way to a shelf near you. If you can't wait that long, it's available via our website.
BUY NOW





HISKY MAKERS REDISCOVER BERE BARLEY
24 September 2019 by Richard Woodard
Bere barley has been grown in Scotland for at least 1,000 years, and probably much longer. Now this ancient crop is being revived – and whisky is playing its part. Richard Woodard reports.

Field of bere barley
Oldest inhabitant: Bere barley has been grown in Orkney for up to 4,000 years
The exposed fields of Orkney are hardly ideal arable farming country. Bleak and windswept, with an all-too-brief growing season, it’s little surprise that conventional barley varieties struggle to ripen here. Better to keep a few cattle, or sheep.

And yet barley is grown in Orkney; barley of a particular type. It’s a distinctive, tall, six-row crop with an annoying tendency to ‘lodge’ – the flattening effect seen when the stems bend over to the ground. But at least you can get it ripe.

This is bere barley, and it’s been in Orkney for at least a millennium, and probably for much longer. ‘Bere is probably the oldest cultivated barley, definitely in Britain and probably one of the oldest still in cultivation in Europe,’ says Peter Martin, director of the Agronomy Institute at Orkney College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).

The name ‘bere’ – pronounced ‘bear’ – is close to the Anglo-Saxon for barley, and it is also sometimes referred to as ‘bigg/bygg/bygge’, from the Old Norse word for the crop.

‘Exactly how old is it? We don’t know,’ admits Martin. ‘It’s definitely been grown here for 1,000 years, but there may be evidence further back in the archaeological record. Barley has been grown in Orkney as far back as 4,000BC and the introduction of agriculture.’

In contrast to modern, scientifically bred barley varieties, bere is a ‘landrace’, meaning it has gradually evolved and adapted to local growing conditions as successive generations of farmers choose the seeds from the best plants for the following year’s crop, in a kind of human-assisted process of natural selection.

Bere barley ears

Distinctive character: Bere barley is a six-row, rather than two-row, barley variety

So bere grows rapidly during the long summer days of northern latitudes, ripening three weeks before modern varieties, despite being planted as late as May. This minimises the risk of crop failure caused by poor weather at either end of the growing season. Bere also tolerates a wide variety of poor-quality soils, from acidic and peat-rich to sandy and alkaline.

And yet, 20 years ago, it was all but extinct, rendered apparently obsolete by higher-yielding modern malting varieties such as Concerto and Odyssey. By the start of the 21st century, there was as little as 10 hectares of bere grown in Scotland, by a handful of farmers on Orkney, Shetland and in the Western Isles.

Revival came, initially, through baking. Barony Mill, a 19th-century Orkney watermill, began using beremeal (flour) to make bannocks, biscuits and bread. From 2002, the UHI started researching bere’s characteristics and end uses – including brewing and distillation.

But making whisky with bere barley is nothing new. It was used extensively in the past; for example, during the boom years of Campbeltown, as ‘gauger’ or exciseman Joseph Pacy discovered when he was posted there in 1834:

‘The peat-dried malt from which this whiskey was produced was made from grain designated in Scotland “Bere or Bigg”, a small kind of barley grown on the light sandy soil of that country. The tax on that description of malt was something like one-fifth less than that on malt made from [modern] barley, a kind of boon or protection to the grower of this lighter kind of grain.’
(The Reminiscences of a Gauger, Imperial Taxation, Past and Present Compared, pp.66-67)

John Wishart, Peter Martin of the UHI

Bere experts: Peter Martin (right) and John Wishart of the UHI have conducted extensive research

As demand soared and supplies ran short on Kintyre, distillers tried to pass off conventional barley from Ireland as bere in order to reap the tax benefits. Pacy investigated, the culprits were fined and forfeited their malt – and the gauger became deeply unpopular with the locals as a result.

Orkney distillery Highland Park’s barley books record purchases of bere back to the 1880s, and as late as the early 1920s – but there the whisky trail for bere goes cold for more than half a century.

When bere whisky resurfaces, it is as a curiosity: a one-off independent bottling by the late Michel Couvreur of bere barley grown on Westray, floor-malted at Highland Park and distilled at Edradour in 1986, which was released in the mid-1990s.

In 2004, Isle of Arran Distillers collaborated with the UHI on a whisky made with Orkney bere, bottling the result at eight and 10 years, while Springbank has worked with Kintyre-grown bere periodically, including a 2013 distillate scheduled for release in 2028 to mark the Campbeltown distillery’s bicentenary.

The biggest champion of bere whisky today, however, is Bruichladdich. Following the Islay’s distillery’s revival in 2001, bere’s status as an outlier barley variety ticking the boxes of heritage, provenance and terroir was hugely appealing. Bere was planted on Islay in 2005, but it never took; the project was abandoned in 2009, with the last years’ failed crops used for animal feed.

Since then, the distillery has sourced its bere, through Martin and the UHI, from a handful of Orkney farmers, resulting in a succession of releases, including most recently the Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010 single malt launched in August.

Bere barley and cows

Tall and heavy: As a ‘landrace’, bere barley has evolved to adapt to local growing conditions

But it hasn’t been easy. ‘It broke the mash tun the first time we worked with it,’ says Bruichladdich communications manager Christy McFarlane. ‘The husk is so hard. We’ve had to reduce the tonnage. And it gets stuck in the mill.’

It was a similar story on Arran, says Isle of Arran Distillers MD Euan Mitchell: ‘I do recall our distillery manager at the time, Gordon Mitchell, saying the bere malt was tricky to work with and clogged up the mash tun. His actual words were a bit coarser than that…’

Another drawn to the romance of bere was Alasdair Day, co-founder of Isle of Raasay distillery owner R&B Distillers. ‘The whole story resonated with me when we turned up on Raasay,’ he recalls. ‘I said: “We want to grow barley here.” The local crofter just fell off his chair laughing and said we couldn’t do that because it wouldn’t ripen.’

Day was vindicated – sort of. Bere was planted on Raasay in 2017, the year the distillery opened, and it did ripen. ‘It’s really hard to describe, but it just felt at home – like it was meant to grow there. It was really tall, with long straw and, as a six-row barley, really top-heavy.’

However, the crop went unharvested, thanks to a lack of the right infrastructure and machinery, and not helped by bere’s tendency to ‘lodge’ or flatten when battered by the Raasay elements.

‘It’s something I would go back to,’ says Day. ‘The holy grail is flavour, but as a young distillery you have to be aware of yield as well. If we had the infrastructure, I would certainly persevere.’

Barony Mill beremeal bannock

Bannock time: Barony Mill in Birsay, Orkney, was a pioneer of bere’s recent revival

Bere is expensive, both financially and in terms of lost spirit yield. The Arran bere malt was roughly twice the price of regular malt in the mid-2000s, and the spirit yield was 15% lower. That broadly reflects the experience at Bruichladdich – production director Allan Logan reckons bere’s tonnage per acre is about half that of conventional two-row barley.

‘The yield is also much less,’ adds McFarlane, ‘but we don’t really care, because it’s all about flavour.’

What flavour?

‘Full-on flavour. I’m quite certain that, in a blind taste test, people would be able to tell the difference, even after time in cask. There is this very unctuous, sweet, well-rounded quality to bere barley.’

Mitchell agrees. ‘The yield was quite low, but the resultant whisky was superb, particularly the cask strength version at 10 years old. Full of oils and a rich, gristy-malty flavour. It’s definitely a case of quirky flavours over high-yielding profitability.’

There are plans for Arran’s new Lagg distillery to work with bere in the future – Mitchell says it was the barley type used at the historic Lagg distillery – while Bruichladdich is continuing its commitment to bere, and to the Orkney farmers who grow it.

Bere has also returned to Islay, part of Bruichladdich’s extensive barley trials currently under way at Shore House Croft. So far, the signs have been far from encouraging, but it’s a long-term project.

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010 bottle and glass

Bere whisky: Bruichladdich is willing to pay more and sacrifice yield for the sake of flavour

But there’s much more to bere barley than whisky; more to it even than the bere beers brewed on Orkney, or Barony Mill’s bannocks and bread. Researchers are particularly interested in bere’s genetic diversity, which could help to future-proof cereal farming against issues related to climate change and food security.

‘There are some beres that seem to have a remarkable tolerance to growing on sandy soils with a deficiency of trace elements such as manganese, copper and zinc,’ explains Martin. ‘Beres on the Western Isles, but also in Orkney and Shetland, are able to grow on sandy soils without any additional applications of these trace elements. The modern variety just doesn’t grow – or it will grow, but not yield grain.’

In time, it is hoped that these unique traits could be bred into modern barley varieties, creating new bere hybrids with the ability to grow and ripen in a far wider variety of locations. Such a development, Martin says, could have global significance.

For whisky, the work of the International Barley Hub – due to open at the James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie in 2022 – will be pivotal. Even now, says Day, there are early signs of hybridisation occurring where bere is growing alongside modern malting barley variety Concerto. ‘The trick, I suppose,’ he adds, ‘will be to get bere’s earliness with shorter straw and better yields.’

If that can be accomplished, without sacrificing the distinctive flavour and texture that make bere so attractive to whisky makers, then we could soon see its plantings expand out of Orkney to Raasay, Islay and beyond; and the future of this historic – maybe prehistoric – barley will be brighter than ever.EATURES
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