Why Barley?

We may be a little obsessed. Barley is an endlessly fascinating raw material that varies in a myriad ways.  For Bruichladdich barley is no mere commodity - we care about where it comes from. Passionately.

All our barley is grown in Scotland, by people we trust in places we know.  We believe in provenance, in connecting with the farmers who sow it and harvest it and dry it and move it.  We explore the different varieties, the ancient history, the modern developments.

Why do different barleys respond to the maltsters, the millhouse and the mashman in different ways?  What is their history?  Why is spirit distilled from Islay barley different to barley grown on the Scottish mainland and different again to organic grain?  What if we distil spirit from bere barley, one of the world’s most ancient cereals?

These are the questions we ask. We ask them while standing in the fields; we ask them with the sun on our faces and we ask them with the rain driving us to cover.

We are now over twelve years into a journey of exploration that is teaching us the differences between fields of loam and clay and sand and peat.  We are getting used to pulling on our boots and sharing the excitements and miseries; watching the weather and worrying about the geese and deer.

We open our eyes and ears and learn, all the while filling our warehouses with this fascinating, incredibly complex spirit.

We know it is complicated. We know we probably are obsessed - but what of it?  We are hoping you will join us - but beware! Obsession can be contagious....

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