Bruichladdich use barley from up to 28 farms. Harvested in the autumn it is distilled from January throughout the following year. The 2012 distillation programme, which kicked off with Bere barley (pronounced "bear"), saw Bruichladdich use barley from 26 farms harvested in the autumn of 2011.
We seek to maintain the 50-50 split between green and island-grown barley. For the 2011 harvest 860 tonnes, 53% of our barley, was 'green'; cultivated both organically and bio-dynamically (über-organic). 47% came from the islands of Islay (despite the bad growing season) and Orkney (4% from the latter, the Viking Bere barley). There were an unprecedented 12 varieties grown, including three old favourites Bere, Maris Porter and Golden Promise.
Around a 100 fields were used from the sands of Saligo to the heavy clay of Stone Cottage; from the heavy loam of Puddlehole to the gravel of Stony Field; from the light sandy loam of Heart Pond to the heavy peat of Bella Logan's Bottom. Each microclimate and soil - or terroir - influencing the growing barley in its own way.
Rather than buy barley from Timbuktu, acquired solely by price from a commodity exchange, we prefer to work with real Scottish farmers. Barley, after all, is the prime raw ingredient of Scotch whisky; it's what makes it so very special.
This is what we mean by provenance & traceability.