Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich was constructed in 1881 by William, John and Robert Harvey and sits on the shore of Loch Indaal on the Isle of Islay. The distillery went through a wide variety of different owners during the 20th Century until it was deemed 'surplus to requirements' in 1994 and closed completely. A consortium led by Mark Reynier  (Founder of  Murray McDavid ) purchased the distillery in 2000 and began completely dismantling and rebuilding the facility from the ground up.  Jim McEwan (formerly of Bowmore) was hired as Master Distiller and oversaw the renaissance of Bruichladdich until his departure (for Adnahoe Distllery) in 2016.  The distillery was pruchased by Remy Cointreau for £58m in 2012.   Bruichladdich produces three distinct whiskies - Bruichladdich (unpeated), Port Charlotte (heavily peated) and Octomore (Super heavily peated).  No computers are used within the facility - and much of the original machinery from 1881 is still in use.


Posted 15 June 2017

Since its rebirth in 2000, the philosophy at Bruichladdich has been one of pushing the boundaries of whisky. The distillery has championed higher bottling strengths, experimented with cask and barley selection, employed innovative cask selection and demonstrated just what's possible with phenol manipulation. Bruichladdich have also taken an open minded approach to non-age statement whisky, but then in some ways they've had to given their rapid ascension in the whisky world ranks over the past decade.


Posted 26 May 2017

Bruichladdich describe themselves as 'Progressive Hebridean Distillers'. They certainly are that when it comes to their Octomore range of whiskies – Named after the farms above Port Charlotte, the Octomore series has the reputation for being the world’s most heavily peated whisky. But, more than this, the series has looked to challenge conventions around the quality of whisky being purely derived from its age.  Always peaty, but not always peaty in the exact manner that you’d expect, Octomore is certainly a palate-testing and thought-provoking experience. Thinking and drinking hand in hand.


Posted 03 July 2017

Travel retail can sometimes be rather overwhelming. You’ve got a long journey ahead of you, a plane to catch and a seeming sea of whiskies you’ve never heard of - where do you start? Whilst the variety of airport-only whiskies has exploded, the overall quality has, in my opinion, fallen rather dramatically over the last few years. A bevy of marketing-led bottles have filled airport shelves to appeal to weary travels who have money in their pocket but little time on their hands. These bottles tend to work on the presumption the most travellers will be susceptible to slick packaging and fancy Scottish-sounding names rather than actual quality whiskies. But, there are exceptions and gems out there still. Let’s look at one.


Posted 04 September 2017

Bruichladdich currently have several travel retail bottlings available – the Laddie Eight which we’ve already looked at, various Octomores (usually the wine cask finished .2 bottlings) and a 2007 Port Charlotte. Port Charlotte is Bruichladdich’s heavily peated range of whiskies, named after Loch Indaal distillery which was constructed on Islay in 1829, but mostly demolished in 2003. Bruichladdich matures its Port Charlotte whiskies at the original site as several of the buildings still remain intact, but distillation of the spirit takes place at the main Bruichladdich facility in Rhinns.


Posted 15 September 2017

This Bruichladdich 2006 has been matured for six years in a first fill sherry hogshead and then re-racked in to a first fill bourbon barrel for an additional four years of maturation. This is somewhat unusual as it is more common to use bourbon casks initially and then transfer over for additional sherry influence and/or finishing. 


Posted 15 June 2018

We’ve not seen any Society Bruichladdich bottlings for quite some time (the last being 23.73 ‘The vital spark’s engine room’ which was released back in 2013). This new bottling was distilled in September of 2005 and spent 12 years maturing in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel. Oily & Coastal profile.


Posted 07 December 2017

We’re now a quarter of the way through the 2017 Boutique-y Advent calendar, and door number 6 offers us some heavy peat in form of Port Charlotte. This is batch number 4 (batch 3 seemingly has been and gone and we missed it?!) and is bottled at 53.2%.


Posted 09 February 2018

Yesterday was International Scotch Day, an initiative launched by Diageo last year, but now already, a much wider celebration of all things Scotch whisky. Whilst Diageo has opened many of its distilleries to offer free of charge tours (from the 8th through to the 11th), a wide variety of events, tastings and online celebrations also took place. Of course, never one to miss out on a party, I wandered in to the bar to find a suitable dram to raise a glass with. After much umming and ahhing I returned with The Laddie Twenty Two.


Posted 21 June 2017

Independent bottler Signatory Vintage is fairly prolific - some fifty different bottlings might be available at any one time. The company owns and runs Edradour distillery and, indeed the Signatory bottling and office facilities are all located in a building next to the distillery in the Pitlochry area of the Highlands. Bottling a variety of single malts from across the regions, today we're looking at a well-aged Bruichladdich from Signatory's Cask Strength Collection.


Posted 25 May 2018

They say a legacy is not leaving something for people, but leaving something in people. In a strange way, Bruichladdich’s Legacy Series achieved both of these things. The distillery was reopened in 2001 after nearly seven years of inactivity – brought back to life by Mark Reynier, Simon Coughlin, and not forgetting the host of Islay residents who helped to restore the 19th Century distillery’s machinery. The site still retains a strong link to its past – where other distilleries might have been revived fully automated, computerised and re-modelled Bruichladdich has evolved over the past 17 years through capacity needs, financial necessity and a drive for innovation, not through impulsiveness.


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