The power of land and grain.
Bruichladdich is one of the most impressive distilleries in Scotland. It was built on Islay in 1881 by the Harvey brothers, who came from a Whisky dynasty. The brothers had wanted to create a distillery that was the very antithesis of an Islay farm distillery. They built a cathedral-like, state-of-the-art Victorian still house, where they used 6m tall stills, which was unheard of at that time. Now owned by Remy Cointreau, the distillery remains pretty much the same as it has for the last 100 years with slow fermentation, “trickle” distillation in traditional wooden vats, and huge washes made from towering douglas fir.
While many distilleries focus on the wood or the water, Bruichladdich has always been about the malt and the earth. They have dozens of special editions and releases named after local farms growing special barley in micro-climate zones.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley Rockside Farm vintage 2009 was distilled from grain harvested in 2008 by Gilbie McCormick and Alistair Torrance. They can even tell you the plots of land if you like. This dedication to “terroir” makes each release unique, which in this case means light, fruit-forward, and clean.