Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery

Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery & Story

The Bruichladdich (brook-lad-dee) whisky distillery is on the isle of Islay. Located on the beautiful western shore of Loch Indaal facing the Bowmore whisky distillery. Production started in 1881 by the Harvey brothers.

Bruichladdich labeled whiskies are not as heavily peated as the famous south shore distilleries of Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroig. The Bruichladdich whiskies can be regarded as gently peated single malt whiskies.

The distillery produces a moderate peated whisky under the Port Charlotte label. Plus a heavily peated whisky under the Octomore label, smokey phenolic peaty single malt whisky.

How the Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery story began

Established by Robert, William & Barnett Harvey in 1881.

The distillery was re-built and reopened under the Bruichladdich Distillery Co (Islay) Ltd (still under Harvey family control) in 1886. Robert Harvey was the First manager.

1897 Barnet Harvey, founder of Bruichladdich, dies without issue. 

In 1889 William Harvey takes over as Manager until his death in 1937.

The distillery was silent from 1929 until 1937 when it was purchased by the partnership of Hatim Attari, Joseph Hobbs and Alexander Tolmie.

Quickly afterwards transferred to Associated Scottish Distillers Ltd (National Distillers of America).

Silent during the Second World War 1941 to 1945.

A new Boiler house was built in 1949.

During 1952 the distillery was bought by Ross and Coulter Ltd (Glasgow whisky brokers), just avoiding DCL’s control, which acquired Train & McIntyre in 1953.

AB Grant buys the distillery in 1960 following the freeing of Scotch whisky exports from post- war rationing.

The new owners began a programme of modest expansion of output, which had nearly doubled capacity from the original designed volume.

Acquired by Invergordon Distillers for £40,000 in 1969. (= £636,000 at 2016 values)

At some point in 1975 Invergordon extended the distillery, enlarging the mash house and tun room and adding second pair of Stills, now four stills, bringing annual capacity to 800,000 proof gallons.

In 1993 Invergordon Distillers was acquired by Whyte & Mackay who mothball the  Bruichladdich distillery two years later in 1995.

Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery

New Owners

19th December 2000 bought by a small independent company of private individuals, headed by Mark Reynier, Gordon Wright and Simon Coughlin of Murray McDavid.

29th May 2001 – first distillation after 5 months of refurbishment of the old existing machinery, A new whisky, based on the original distillates from the end of the nineteenth century is the first: ‘Port Charlotte’, heavily peated at 40 ppm.

The distillery was fiercely proud of it’s private status: 100% Private equity, mainly Scottish money including from Islay, registered in Glasgow. 100% private shareholders – no corporate bodies.

Distilled on Victorian machinery for purity. Unpeated barley gives the floral character. Tall, narrow-necked stills provide a medicine-free, medium weight body. American oak casks introduce vanilla notes. Naturally bottled for maximum flavour and rich texture. Recently released peated versions provide the smoke.

All the whiskies are bottled where they were distilled – at Bruichladdich. Matured beside the ocean for Atlantic freshness. Only pure, Islay spring water is added to reduce from cask strength to 46%. Nothing is taken away – all whiskies are non chill-filtered and are colouring-free.

Freedom of Expression

Bruichladdich Distillery is a small, private company, free to make whisky the way they like and feel they do not have to conform. By industry levels the bottlings are small; since they bottle naturally, they cannot seek to standardise.

When new cask types, ages, and styles become available, a new edition is released to replace the previous. This means numerous batch names are used. as the Bruichladdich brand evolves.

July 2012

Mark Reynier,  managing director and co founder of the restored Bruichladdich distillery has seen the company sold against his will, advice and vote to Remy Cointreau.

The deal – for a reputed £58 million, will see the French drinks giant get its first toehold in the valuable specialist Scotch whisky market.

The original mill and washbacks installed by the Harvey brothers remain. Bruichladdich has tall stills which produce a relatively clean spirit and is certainly light-bodied in comparison to most of the other Islay malts. 

Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery

Founded in 1881 by Robert William and John Harvey.

Location; Islay Region. Loch Indaal District

Water source; Octomore spring.

Cast Iron open mash tun fitted with rakes. From 1881.

Six Washbacks.

Two pairs of stills.

Also a working Lomond Type still brought in from the Inverleven distillery. Purchased by Mark Reynier for distilling the Botanist Gin.

The original mill and washbacks installed by the Harvey brothers remain. Bruichladdich has tall stills which produce a relatively clean spirit and is certainly light-bodied in comparison to most of the other Islay malts. 

These can be regarded as gently peated single malt whiskies.

The distillery produces a moderate peated whisky under the Port Charlotte label. Plus a heavily peated whisky under the Octomore label, smokey phenolic peaty single malt whisky.

During the modern era, post 2000, the distillery has not produced a standard vintage or age statement bottling. Instead producing batches with different names. These releases by their nature have become collectable discontinued whisky. 

 

Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery from the beach
Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery Logo

Our Top 3 Bruichladdich whiskies

Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery Spirit safe

Take a tour of the Bruichladdich distillery

The Bruichladdich distillery visitors centre is well worth a visit and regularly run guided tours of the distillery throughout the course of the day. A number of the tours include tasting sessions where you can sample some of the drams they have to offer.

Click here for more information on the Bruichladdich visitors centre

Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery Mash tun

Bruichladdich 1880s Cast iron mash tun.

Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery Stills

Our Bruichladdich Whisky Range - In stock and available to buy

Our Octomore Whisky Range - In stock and available to buy

Our Port Charlotte Whisky Range - In stock and available to buy