Owner.. Remy cointreau.
Capacity.. 1 500 000 litres.
Tel.. 01496 850221
Bottle your own [ 2 casks available]
At Bruichladdich, we believe the whisky industry has been stifled by industrialisation and self-interest – huge organisations have developed that require a stable status quo to ensure that their industrial processes can run to maximum efficiency, producing the maximum “product” with the minimum input and variation, all to the lowest unit price.
We reject this.
We believe that whisky should have character; an authenticity derived from where it is distilled and the philosophies of those who distil it – a sense of place, of terroir that speaks of the land, of the raw ingredients from which it was made.
We believe in variety, in chance, in progress, in irrationality, in a stubborn refusal to accept prescribed “process”; we believe in following the distilling Muse wherever it might take us. Above all we believe the world needs an antidote to homogeneity and blandness. Since our first spirit ran from our stills on 11.09.01 we have been on an adventure – sometimes a white-knuckle ride, but a journey that has seldom been dull, often a challenge, throughout a joy and a thrill.
AT BRUICHLADDICH WE MATURE ALL OUR SPIRIT FOR ALL ITS LIFE IN OUR WAREHOUSES ABOVE LOCHINDAAL. HOW COULD IT BE ANY OTHER WAY?
And yet many wax lyrical about the “marine influence” of their spirit (not much marine influence to be found on an industrial estate in Glasgow).
All our warehouses sit on or above the shores of Lochindaal – the sea loch that defines the westerly Rhinns of Islay – so Atlantic ozone-rich freshness permeates our malt during the many slow years of maturation.
ALL OUR WAREHOUSES SIT ON OR ABOVE THE SHORES OF LOCH INDAAL – THE SEA LOCH ON THE RHINNS OF ISLAY
Oak casks – more osmotic membrane than container – perform the vital task of allowing the evolution of the spirit by way of subtle and complex interactions between the micro-oxidation of the whisky’s flavour compounds, oak tannins extracted from the wood, the ozone-marine influence of the air absorbed through the wood and the whisky texture.
Combining extensive wine experience, hands-on barrel coopering, and decades of whisky knowledge, we have a unique and unparalleled understanding of the complex and quixotic interaction of wood, air and spirit – and continue to explore it keenly.
We are intrigued by the effects of oak from America and Europe’s greatest forests on the flavour of Bruichladdich malt; over the years American white oak (Quercus Alba) imparts lush, vanillin flavours, whereas the influence of French oak (Quercus Robur, Quercus Petraea) is more subtle and fine.
EVERY NOW AND THEN THE WHISKY GODS SURPRISE US AND GIVE US SOMETHING RARE, CAPRICIOUS AND UNEXPECTED
The finest oak is a raw material just as important as barley or spring water. We are uncompromising in our choice of cask; we can work with the best, so we do. We are privileged to have relationships with some of Europe’s greatest wine-makers and their estates; from Rioja and Jerez in Spain, to Bordeaux, the Languedoc, the Loire and Alsace in France, to the Neusiedler See in Austria we have access to the finest oak casks that have previously contained the world’s greatest wines. The complexity and subtlety of the effect these casks have on maturing whisky are fascinating, and for us when our single malt is put into cask this is the start of a journey of discovery, not a final resting place.
No two casks of spirit are the same or mature at the same rate or in the same way. So it is essential that we are here, on the ground, watching our maturing malt with a hawk’s eye. Not only is that required for quality, but every now and then the whisky gods surprise us and give us something rare, capricious and unexpected – the difference between artisanal craft and commercial production.
Pictures courtesy of Bruichladdich.