“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw.
Or as Jim says “We have a distillery, and we know how to use it”.
Conventional whisky wisdom dictates that a distillery has one spirit, and that it then offers a few expressions of that same spirit as time allows – a 10-year-old, a 15-year-old, a 20-year-old, etc.
How dull. Hit your signature style, programme the computer, press the green button.
Now, to be fair we’ve never had the luxury of this position – when we bought Bruichladdich there were (still are) huge gaps in the stock profile – a result of the rollercoaster life of the distillery under many remote owners, mothballed on whim and commercial pressure. Consequently when stocks of our limited inherited 10-year-old ran out we’ve had to wait another 10 years for the first of our own spirit to mature – our very first 10-Year-Old.
But beyond this pragmatic reality, the cosy, predictable, process-driven, safe commercial route was never one for us.
We are an inquisitive bunch - just because things have been done one way or another for years, is it really any better - or just habit?
“Custom without truth is but ancient error repeated.” – House of Commons records, 1641.
Romantics, restless spirits, curious minds, seekers of truth, renegades, mavericks, trouble-makers. We acknowledge all of these epithets and refuse to distinguish between them.
Read more >
Why not try a quadruple distillation? Why not grow the Vikings’ barley? Who says it doesn’t matter where whisky is matured? What about trying to make the most heavily-peated whisky the world has ever seen, in our elegant, tall-necked stills? How can we make a gin? What happens if we infuse that gin with our own wild native Islay botanicals? Is a five-year-old spirit matured in great wood better than a 20-year-old spirit in sad, tired wood (answer: “Yes!”)?
Our predecessors – the pioneering Harvey Brothers who designed and built our distillery – were purposeful and progressive Scotsmen at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. Their aim was to use innovation to produce the world’s greatest spirit – and we are proud inheritors of their legacy.
Like them, our freedom stems from our independent status and a shareholder structure that supports innovation.
The company is managed from the distillery – to the envy of others in the industry our chain of command is immediate: we can put our ideas in to action instantly - undiluted by time, distance, culture or competing interests.
Creativity is the natural expression of our enthusiasm, but without craftsmanship, our inspiration is no more than a reed blowing in the wind.
There are some who criticise our constant curiosity and look in bewilderment at the range of products we sometimes offer; but we are simply exploring the many opportunities and the capricious soul of distilling and maturation – of still, oak, cask and warehouse. And then, being warm-spirited and generous folk, we offer them to the world to share this incredible journey we’re embarked on – as they say, life is a journey, not a destination.
Romantics, restless spirits, curious minds, seekers of truth, renegades, mavericks, trouble-makers
Is a five-year-old spirit matured in great wood better than a 20-year-old spirit in sad, tired wood (answer: “Yes!”)?