A Single Malt made from a rare and ancient variety of barley that brings the Spirit to life with a fruit-forward style.
The Bruichladdich Distillery is very impressive. In 1881 the Harvey brothers — who came from a Whisky family dynasty — built a cathedral-like, state-of-the-art Victorian still house with unheard-of six-meter tall stills. After being closed for a short period between 1994-2001, the distillery was brought back to life using pretty much the same 100 year old equipment by two London Wine merchants, who believed that terroir matters. They proudly practice slow fermentation and slow distillation using traditional wooden vats and huge washes made from towering Douglas Fir. The distillery produces non-peated Bruichladdich Single Malt, Port Charlotte which is peated in the classic Islay style, the heavily peated Octomore, and The Botanist Islay Dry Gin.
Back in the day, each distillery made deals with local farmers and malted their grain in-house. But in today’s world of Scottish Whiskies, the growing and malting of barley is most often farmed-out to specialized firms. There’s nothing wrong with that — these companies do a really good job. But the individual character of the grain has become more homogenized.
Bruichladdich set about to experiment with more rare varieties and growing regions with the Barley Exploration Series. Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010 is the third installment. Bere barley is an ancient version of the grain. It is a six-row variety which we’ve neer seen before. The grain was harvested in 2009 and distilled in 2010. It was aged a minimum of eight years in ex-Bourbon casks and is bottled at an impressive 50% ABV for a truly singular dramming experience.
The word "Bruichladdich" is darned hard to say correctly. The trouble is that the "-ich" in Scot’s Gaelic is sometimes pronounced as a hard "k" and sometimes it’s silent. And in "Bruichladdich" there’s one of each. Say it this way: "brook - laddie" and you’ll be close.