It will not be long now before the roads of Germany are graced by an impressive new Laddietruck. The Bruichladdich branded tractor and trailer combination will feature a larger than life rendition of the iconic photograph of our General Manager Duncan McGillivray examining the grain in a field of ripe Islay malting barley just prior to the harvest. Taken a couple of years ago now by photographer Roddy Mackay, the image has become synonymous with the Bruichladdich message that we are carrying around the world. "We believe terroir matters".
Mary McGregor, the manager of The Laddieshop here on Islay, has been "Highly Commended" in the Whisky Magazine 'Icons of Whisky Scotland 2014' award. As the magazine says: "The Icons celebrate the people and places behind the greatest whiskies."
Bruichladdich CEO Simon Coughlin says: "We are delighted that Mary has gained this recognition for all the hard work that she has put in. It is through Mary and her staff that the Laddieshop has become such a great place to visit - relaxed, friendly and informal."
Famously described by one of our guests as 'part whisky shop and part surf bar', the Laddieshop has developed a unique atmosphere, and Mary has been instrumental in developing this. It has become the perfect place to enjoy a dram either before or after a tour of this wonderful old Victorian distillery - as well as being a great place to meet like-minded people. So - let us raise a glass to Mary! Slainte!
Warehouse tastings and limited tours of the distillery are continuing despite the renovation work taking place in the still house and the mash house. We cannot pretend that the tours are quite as exciting as when production is in full swing with all the sights, sounds and smells that involves, but a visit can still be very interesting. Please call 01496 850190 to book, or just swing by the Laddieshop to say hello.
Maintenance work is continuing at the distillery during this extended silent period due to the re-building of our mash tun. We have taken the opportunity to catch up on all sorts of jobs that needed doing, which has meant that our lovely old still room and mash house are full of scaffolding, engineers and electricians.
We have done some copper work on the stills, checking welds and servicing all the steam pipes. In the mash house, the scaffolding rises high into the roof to be ready to support the re-installation of the stirring gear when it returns from the fabricators.
Whisser is Danish slang for whisky and the name of an unusual blog written by two 'Peat Heads' from Denmark. One is Martin Kjær Skou. His short bio says that he lives in Voldby and has a background in philosophy and marketing. He is fond of peat and likes cask aged beers. His co-conspiritor is Danny Kreutzfeldt a webmaster from Aarhus. Danny prefers "expensive peaty stuff and the silky waters of the Ballantruan Spring." He also runs a doom metal label - which definitely gets our vote... This is an account of their warehouse tasting at Bruichladdich.
Ben's Whisky Blog is the work of Ben Cops who is a programmer from London. He has been reviewing whiskies since August of last year (2013), often comparing and contrasting several expressions from the same distillery in a single post, a method described as a 'vertical'.
We are always delighted to receive reviews from around the world of whisky. Here are a couple from the 'Scotch and Sc-Fi' site run by Jonathon Webb who has been blogging about his favourite drink for a year or more now.
The first features 'The Classic Laddie - Scottish Barley' which is the unpeated dram that introduces many people to our range around the world. This is a multi-vintage cuvee put together by Jim McEwan and his team to showcase the classic floral and elegant Bruichladdich style.
The latest 'Whisky Insiders Interview' on www.thewhiskywire.com features Allan Logan who became distillery manager at Bruichladdich when just 28 years old. Allan talks about the long association of his family with distilling on Islay and also runs through a few of his favourite whiskies.
Vesa Nopanen is a whisky blogger and enthusiast from Ihamaniemi, which is a very remote part of Finland. Or at least it seems remote to us here at Bruichladdich on the Hebridean island of Islay.
I think it is fair to say that he is particularly enthusiastic about heavily peated single malt scotch whiskies and has been kind enough to write about both our heavily peated Port Charlotte and super-heavily peated Octomore ranges on a number of occasions.