23rd December 10am - 5pm with tours at 10.30am and 1.00pm
Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ùr
We are pleased to be able to announce that our new Global Travel Retail exclusive releases are starting to become available in different travel hubs around the world. They are currently offered at the Fine Spirits and Cigars shop located in Lounge 3 at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. We expect them to be on sale at Doha Airport in Qatar in the next few days, closely followed by Charles de Gaulle International in Paris.
Our full range is also available at Male' International Airport in the Maldives.
Next week there will be a high-profile launch at the Central Square in Schiphol from which we hope to bring you news as soon as it happens.
There will be five single malts on display:
1) Bruichladdich The Organic Scottish Barley (GTR exclusive)
2) Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006 2nd Edition (GTR exclusive)
3) Octomore 6.2 (GTR exclusive)
4) Port Charlotte PC11 (GTR exclusive)
5) Bruichladdich Black Art 4
We are expecting further launches at many other airports around the world over the next few weeks with the first likely to be Delhi International Airport in India.
We will of course bring you more information just as soon as we have it.
Our new Valinch is a beautiful 21 year old that spent the majority of its life in an American bourbon barrel before being transferred to a French oak cask that had previously held one of the world’s finest eaux-de-vie.
This is a wonderful dram, an inspirational example of cask enhancement, or ACEing as we like to call it. It has been named for our Distillery Manager, the ever youthful Allan Logan, although even Allan no longer claims to be a mere 21 years old. There is talk of this being the first in a series of Valinch editions that will feature members of the Laddie Crew. We will have to see.
After a long run of unpeated Bruichladdich through the stills we have started to distill heavily peated Port Charlotte spirit this morning. We plan to be running Port Charlotte for around a month before changing again, to Octomore, the heaviest peated whisky in the world. The Octomore will take us through to the Christmas holiday.
The first 7.2 tonne batch of the pungent, peat-infused Port Charlotte grist was soaked in our lovely old cast iron mash tun on Wednesday of last week, the maximum amount of sugar being gently extracted to give a sweet wort. Water was added and drained away from the grist in the mash tun four times, with the first and second ‘waters’ being used to charge the washbacks, while the third and fourth were recycled as the first and second waters of the subsequent mash.
Yeast was added to the wort in the washbacks by hand, and a slow period of fermentation resulted in the creation of alcohol in a malty ‘wash’, which is akin to a beer. It is this wash that charges the stills and is gently simmered and the vapours condensed to produce, first the low wines, and finally the precious spirit that will fill the oak casks.
We have been working with photographer Steven Fisher on a video short featuring Master Distiller Jim McEwan as part of a series highlighting great UK craftsmen for ‘The Daily Telegraph’, Britain’s highest circulation broadsheet newspaper.
Steven and partner Shiraz Ksaiba have material for four short films, some of which have been published others with others still being produced.
We held our second Tweet Tasting on Wednesday October 2nd, hosted by Steve Rush @TheWhiskyWire. There were twenty five lucky recipients of four 20cl bottles that we labeled Dram One to Dram Four. The tasting was only ‘semi-blind’ though, as we told people that these were four of the nine new releases that Bruichladdich have launched this year, and as all of the bottles carried the alc/vol statement, one of which was 57%, it did not require Hercule Poirot to work out what it was…
The 14th annual New Yorker Festival – more than fifty events featuring an eclectic mix of art, literature, culture, science, music and politics - plus plenty that defies simplistic attempts at classification.
Most of the events are sold out including ‘High Spirits’ which will feature Simon Coughlin and Jim McEwan in conversation with Kelefah Sanneh who wrote a definitive account of Bruichladdich for the magazine that was published earlier this year.
The New Yorker is a polymath American magazine published by Condé Nast 47 times a year. It focuses on the cultural life of New York but has a wide audience outside of the city built on a reputation for quality journalism across a wide range of subjects.
The legendary English cricketing all-rounder Sir Ian Botham and his wife Kathy visited Bruichladdich today for a tour and tasting with distillery manager Allan Logan.
Ian became acquainted with The Laddie while fishing with his friend Jock Miller who is a former shareholder, and has a particular liking for the Laddie 22 while both Ian and Kathy really enjoy The Botanist Islay dry gin.
The natural world serves up some extraordinary bounty - particularly so perhaps at this time of year as the harvests are gathered in. One of the less predictable sights is when literally hundreds of millions of young herrings, called "shielachan" in the Gaelic, gather in enormous shoals to feed on the rich plankton blooms that develop in the warmer waters of Loch Indaal. Following them are huge shoals of mackerel that gorge thenselves on the little fish. The mackerel are hunted in turn by predators such as tope (a kind of shark), seals and dolphins. We had a pod of bottle nosed dolphins in the loch last week that were photographed by Kevin Wiggins. They can be seen on the Islay Natural History Trust blog.
The villagers of Port Charlotte like to catch and eat the mackerel too. We enjoyed four for lunch yesterday, sold to us at our door by a proud young fisherman. They are best eaten grilled with plenty of salt and lemon and fresh brown bread. The shielachan have been in such numbers this year that the water has been literally thick with them at times, and they are driven up the beaches and onto the rocks by the voracious mackerel which themselves become so excited by the chase that they sometimes launch themselves up the beaches and become stranded on the sand.
The young shielachan are a delicacy too. Eaten whole as whitebait, one scoop of the net provides far more than a family can eat at a single sitting.
The recipe for shielachan was provided by Bob Paget, father in-law of Duncan McGillivray who is distillery manager at Bruichladdich. Bob recommends that we dry them and roll them in flour before deep frying them in oil for about five minutes, until they just start to turn crispy. Serve them with salt and parsley and lemon or garlic. Perfect with a dram of Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, they were a lovely starter last night, just before enjoying a shoulder of roast Islay lamb.