Bruichladdich is known as The Sophisticated Islay and is a multilayered whisky with the complexity of fine wine. This is perhaps to be expected as some of the present owners of this Islay distillery are from the wine trade. Bruichladdich is proud of a 100% Island of Islay product - from barley to bottle. The only Islay distillery to bottle its own whisky, Bruichladdich has a creamy texture and long finish making it a favorite with whisky drinkers.
Bruichladdich, pronounced ‘Brook-Laddie’ means ‘raised beach’ in Gaelic, referring to the location of the distillery on Isle of Islay, off Scotland’s west coast. It was built in 1881 by William Harvey and his brothers on a two and a half acres site facing the sea.
As it was a purpose built distillery and not a farm conversion, the square structure was designed for maximum efficiency. It had a kiln in the centre that fed two sets of malting floors.
Bruichladdich distillery saw several changes of ownership and stopped production in 1994. It went through four owners and was finally acquired in 2000 by a small group of private investors led by Mark Reynier. It recommenced distillation in 2001 after extensive renovation. Despite changes the traditional 19th Century manual equipment is used for malting and distilling with state of the art bottling techniques.
The barley in increasingly organically grown on Islay and the water from local burns has filtered through the oldest rocks in the whisky world. Today 500,000 liters are distilled annually at Bruichladdich of different varieties and peating levels. It is bottled in Islay’s only bottling hall without chill-filtration, coloring, and homogenization.
Ever since the distillery has been reopened it has won plaudits all over the world. It was voted ‘Distillery of the Year’ by the American whisky specialist magazine “The Malt Advocate” in 2001 and 2003. Their James McEwan was voted Distiller of the Year on three occasions. Their 1970 Vintage Bruichladdich has been voted Malt of the Year.
The Bruichladdich Distillery constantly innovates and releases new whiskies. Several of them are quite unique. In 2001 the First Edition bottles were released in new aquamarine livery. Their third spirit, Octomore is considered to be the world’s peatiest Scotch whisky. Their Trestarig, pronounced “trace-arak” has been created according to a 300 year old recipe of the Hebrides. It is a triple distilled spirit and the recipe may have it’s origins in ‘Arak’, the original Middle Eastern spirit distilled from wine.
The star of 2006 was X4 – Perilous Whisky formulated by a legendary quadruple distillation process – usquebaugh-baul. The result is the world’s most alcoholic single malt ever made! Some of the other special whiskies are Blacker Still Cask Strength, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Limited Edition and 125 Anniversary Bottling.