Revolutionary Old Ideas

IN

Sixty years have passed since a post ration-book Britain spent an average of 30% of their household expenditure on food. That figure has dropped to just 16% in 2018. Averages in the USA saw a similar decline from the 1960s, from 18% to 10%.

Western societies are spending more on housing and travel than generations before but have become accustomed to cheap food and cheap fashion. When the green revolution improved the productivity of agriculture, more volume was demanded for less money. But what was the real cost?

The price of a convenience culture is slowly becoming apparent. We have rapidly disconnected from a wholesome ideal of growing our own, of bartering and eventually of knowing how our farming systems work. Our supermarkets are filled with under-priced, over-packaged, out-of-season produce.

Somewhere in the throes of feeding a nation, we moved away from a ‘farmer first’ mentality. We became so obsessed with yield that we lost touch with what was interesting, diverse, flavoursome and sustainable.

While agricultural productivity was put under increasing pressure, Bruichladdich refuted the rising demand for efficiency. As a distillery that ironically called ourselves progressive, we broke away from the teeth of modern industrialisation and instead looked to traditional, pre-war practices for inspiration. Where the industry used aged statements, we celebrated each vintage of our barley’s harvest. We went back to slow distillation and resurrecting ancient varietals, back to the idea that community, not commodity, is everything.

“We want to support people who grow for flavour, those champions of heritage and natural crops. By partnering with them we can find new and long forgotten flavours, reconnecting our whisky with its vital raw ingredients.” – Adam Hannett, Head Distiller at Bruichladdich Distillery

In a quest to reconnect with our raw ingredient, our entire malt supply-chain had to be reinvented. Farmers became partners, not just suppliers and we began to understand that only by spreading value deeper into the food chain would eating and drinking become an ethical act.

“We want to support people who grow for flavour, those champions of heritage and natural crops. By partnering with them we can find new and long forgotten flavours, reconnecting our whisky with its vital raw ingredients.” – Adam Hannett, Head Distiller at Bruichladdich Distillery

Despite almost two decades worth of progress, we recognise that there is yet more to do. While provenance-led spirits lie maturing in our warehouses, we keep looking to the future in order to better our ecosystem. Our barley project will be ongoing and infinite.

For now, we introduce revolutionary old ideas to the whisky world with new vintages of our Barley Exploration series. In a unique interpretation of barley’s intellectual potential, we present the what, where and how of barley growing in Scotland.

Our Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011 is available from specialist whisky retailers, RRP £55.

Our Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010 is available from specialist whisky retailers, RRP £75.

Our Bruichladdich The Organic 2010 is available from specialist whisky retailers, RRP £75.

Read more about our Barley Exploration journey…

 

[1] Source: Department of Agriculture, USA & the Office of National Statistics, UK.

Popular articles from the newsdesk

Bruichladdich Distillery
Due to regulations in your own country of residence, you cannot access this website

By entering you accept the use of cookies to enhance your user experience and collect information on the use of the website. Find out more