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.

Distillery Bottlings

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 17 January 2019

It has taken me a little time to get used to the new Port Charlotte bottle design. At first glance I thought of a miniaturised watercooler bottle, albeit a rather more fun one to gather round for a conversation. It’s stubby, yet sleek. Distinctive, but (judging by initial online conversations) possibly divisive. But, to my mind, its slightly alien appearance is just what the range needs.

Posted 01 August 2018

Whilst many distilleries have exclusive expressions only available for purchase by visitors, hand-bottling your own whisky directly from the cask at the completion of a distillery tour feels rather special. In essence, exclusives and hand-bottlings are oft-times essentially the same thing – a limited (by volume of the cask) cask strength, single cask release that you can only purchase at the distillery itself. However, there’s much more of a sense of occasion and excitement in filling your own hand-signed bottle. It becomes more than a keep-sake – it becomes a liquid memory of that moment in time.

Posted 21 April 2020

Whilst whisky enthusiasts lap up organic barley expressions as eagerly as any others – it’s far from certain that they’re doing so because of an inherent belief that they are somehow a better or more tasty product. Once upon a time all food and drink was organic. Agriculture was entirely dependent on Mother Nature – and a good crop was at the mercy of climate and nurture alone. There were no artificial additives or intensive farming methods with which to amplify yields. Whisky too at this time was fundamentally organic.

Posted 19 July 2019

Unless you’re a devout fanatic of a brand (and there’s plenty of them out there), it’s likely that your preferences for particular distilleries and styles of whisky will wax and wane. There’s very few (if any) distilleries whose profile and output has remained monolithic over the years – managers with their preferences change, as do owners – sometimes bringing in more sweeping modifications. What is a thing today, was likely a different thing 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Over the course of your whisky exploration you’ll find points in time when the inherent qualities of a distillery’s liquid will align perfectly with your tastes. It might a single year (Ledaig 1972) or a whole decade (90s Ardbeg), but regardless, this fondness and flavour memory is likely to stick with you.

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 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.

Independent Bottlings

Bramble Whisky Company

Posted 19 August 2021

Recently released by Edinburgh’s Bramble Whisky Company – this 13 year old Lochindaal has spent its life maturing in a Chateau Climens Sauternes Cask. The Bordeaux-based Chateau is a leading producer of sweet wines (Sauternes 1er cru classe) and can trace is history back to the 16th Century. And Lochindaal is something of the finite resource (I read somewhere “no more than 200 casks”) so the combination of the two certainly sounds intriguing.


Posted 02 November 2021

Our final Watt Whisky bottling from this release cycle comes from Bruichladdich in the form of a 13 year old Lochindaal (peated more than Port Charlotte, but less than Octomore.) The 50+PPM spirit was first distilled in 2007, but to the best of my knowledge has not become a mainstay spirit in active production in the same way as the distillery’s three main styles. As such, there’s only a limited number of these cask available – and as such they come with a premium in-built. This release was matured in a single ex-bourbon barrel and has been bottled at 57.1% ABV. Blink and you’ll miss it.


Posted 15 November 2018

Whilst dumpier than a standard sherry butt, a puncheon holds a similar volume of liquid. This Bruichladdich has spent 16 years maturing inside of one. Despite that, it’s maintained a high ABV of 61.2%. 372 bottles have been produced by Claxton’s clocking in at £134.99 a piece.


Posted 24 August 2020

17 year old Port Charlotte – which is almost as old as they come. This Sponge release has been matured in a 1st fill bourbon barrel and bottled at what feels like a natural 57.1% ABV. With only 220 bottles produced I don’t imagine this lasted very long -irrespective of the price that PCs seem to demand nowadays.

Posted 21 January 2022

Whisky Sponge Edition 35 heads over to Bruichladdich for a Port Charlotte that’s just about hitting the ceiling of the distillate’s age (only a couple of private casks have been currently been released as 19 year olds). This release has been matured in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel that produced 197 bottles at 57.1%.

Posted 13 May 2022

Whisky Sponge’s 3rd Bruichladdich offering – and the oldest of the bunch so far. A 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel left quietly since 2001 and bottled at 50.9%. A mere 161 bottles from this cask – all sold to either fans of the distillery (and it’s older inclinations) or star children – take your pick.

Elixir Distillers

Posted 11 October 2018

The Elements series of pharmaceutical bottlings pays homage to more than just the periodic table. Most are multi-cask marriages blended to highlight particular aspects of either the underlying spirit or the influence of casks that the spirit has matured in. As such, there’s both science and experimentation taking place behind the scenes to achieve a balance of liquids that is harmonious. No easy task.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

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.

Signatory Vintage

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.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Posted 13 December 2018

We’re at the halfway point of the 2018 Boutique-y Whisky Advent calendar and it’s time to visit the self-styled ‘bad boys of Islay’ in the form of Bruichladdich 13 year old Batch 11. Provenance and transparency are important to the Laddie chaps – and why not, who doesn’t like to know as much about what they’re consuming as possible? This Boutique-y release therefore feels a bit anomalous in that regard, as there’s something I’m detecting wood-wise which is not specified on the label.

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%.

Whisky Broker

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. 



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