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Whisky is all about time. Not only the long years spent maturing in damp warehouses, but the time spent in distilling. Or it should be, but in these days of modern distilling, where most whisky is destined for cheap blends, time is money. Distilling has become about ultimate efficiency, computerisation, high-density fermentation. The quicker, the cheaper.
Our distillery does not produce whisky for blends, everything is retained for our Bruichladdich single malt. We have the time, space and the philosophy to run our charismatic old Victorian equipment in our own idiosyncratic way. This is no sci-fi, Blade Runner set up bristling with steel, pipes and motors, and lit by the glow of computer screens. The simplicity of the Spartan layout is the proof of a beautifully simple philosophy. Less is more.
It starts with the maceration of barley in hot water to extract the sugars, in our open-topped, cast-iron mash tun. This venerable tank, the last of its kind, was built in 1881; it groans, squeaks and clanks in an unashamedly lugubrious fashion; this is the natural, ancient Celtic method that simply cannot be hurried. We could use a bright, shiny, steel, spaceship-like extractive mash tun to speed things up, but we prefer the ponderous, delicate, more natural way that the sweet, viscous ‘wort’ percolates away by gravity alone to be fermented.
The distillery was built on a gentle slope to take advantage of gravity. Any delicate pre-fermented wort needs to be handled gently, the minimum artificial manipulation the better.
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We have the time, space and the philosophy to run our charismatic old Victorian equipment in our own idiosyncratic way

We have the time, the inclination, and the stubbornness, to be totally uncompromising.

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