1881: So we end with the beginning. Brothers William, John and Robert Harvey, they also had a sister Mary, built the distillery.
William (born in 1849) was a Financier. John (just over a year younger) was a Distiller, and Robert the youngest (born in 1857) was an Engineer. They combined their expertise to found Bruichladdich Distillery – John designing it, Robert building it and William looking after the business side of things.
William, the eldest, got married on Islay in 1882. He takes up distilling a year later, becoming a Master Distiller and becoming Manager in 1889 until his death in 1936. William had three sons; the youngest, Kenneth takes over the role of Manager from his father, but only lasts a year.
In 1938 Judith Harvey and her sister Faith, both born at the distillery Manager’s house, went to live in Canada. We were delighted to invite Faith (now Muir) and her family over to officially open our Bottling Hall in 2003.
John, the middle brother, had studied distilling so was the natural choice to produce the new spirit at this exciting new distillery. However, the family had two other long‐established distilleries on the mainland at Yoker and Dundashill and John went off to manage one of them.
Robert, the Engineer helped design and build the distillery. Innovations in the construction of the distillery made it progressive right from the start – we label ourselves the Progressive Hebridean Distillers to this day!
Robert was the first Manager and had a son Douglas born in 1884. He headed to Australia in 1891 where he sadly passed away at a very young age.
A piece of history returned home to the distillery recently – Robert Harvey’s bag. You can actually see bottle marks in the base of the bag. It’s amazing to know clever young Robert used this bag and carried it around with him.
So this brings me to the end of the beginning and now we look to the future. We have to look back to look forward. Please, let us all stand and raise a glass to all who have shaped our future, for many more years to come!
To the future, Mary!