Meaning ‘shore bank’ (Gaelic)
“It is in the oldest pots that the best soup is made” – Jim McEwan, Production Director at BruichladdichRead More
Bruichladdich is indeed a believer of simpler traditions and times. Their distillery is built on a gentle slope that relies on gravity to move the surgery wort to the wooden fermentation vessels – making up a capacity of 210,000 litres.
Devotees maintain that the slow fermentation within these old wooden vats are an essential part of the BruichIaddich’s flavour.
An enterprise devoid of hierarchy, Bruichladdich abides by a bottom-up approach. Beginning with their base product – Barley.
Strong bonds with the farmers who sow, harvest, dry and move the Scottish mainland Barley is delicately formed.
Over the 12 years, Bruichladdich has grown from and with their land in a journey of exploration – that has taught them to differentiate between fields of loam and clay and sand and peat.
“We are … used to pulling on our boots and sharing the excitements and miseries; watching the weather and worrying about the geese and deer.”
Their barley is then ground using the last remaining belt driven Robert Bobby Mill that was refurbished in 2001 by the only man in the UK with the expertise to do so – 2 weeks before his demise.
The grist produced by the Bobby Mill is used to charge the original seven tonne cask iron rake-and-plough mash tun which dates from 1881 – and is the biggest of the three surviving tuns of its kind still operating in Scotland.
After the meticulous process of fermenting, distilling and maturing, the fine malts are bottled by the team themselves.
The soft spring water comes from the nearby Octomore farm which sits on the hill behind BruichIaddich’s Port Charlotte aging warehouse. The farm is owned by James Brown, who takes water to the distillery 2 to 3 times a week.
Despite the hike in production cost, the folk at Bruichladdich passionately believe in the exclusive use local water for reduction.
More booze in our booze
Master Distiller and Production Director, Jim McEwan, explains why he decided to increase the a.b.v. (alcohol by volume) of some of the whiskies to 50%:
“The decision to increase the strength of our barley exploration series single malts is the result of a 6-year study analysing the flavours and aromatics of Islay barley at 46% and at 50% ABV.”
Beyond doubt that at 50% the flavours from the spirit are more evident, particularly the barley notes, which are not dominated by the oak at this age. The viscosity is richer, being less dilute, and it’s this richness that holds the components together until the strength of the oak takes on that task as the whisky gets older.
Yours truly carries 3 of their malts
(i) Bruichladdich: fruity, unpeated whisky
(ii) Port Charlotte: heavily peated to 40ppm
(iii) Octomore: billed as being the world’s most heavily peated whisky – current Octomore 6.1
*ppm: parts per million of phenols
None of these malts are chill-filtered or have added caramel colouring. All three malts and are reduced to bottling strength using only Islay water and bottled on the island.
Drop by Wallich for some fine whiskey indulgence.
Bruichladdich special at $199nett.