A machine with a rotating spiralled screw, which can often be found within a tube, used to transport liquid or grain from one area to another. At Bruichladdich this is used to transport the malt and grist to the mill and mash tun. The rotating part of the conveyor is called an auger.
The fine hairs or bristles on barley which help contribute to seed dispersal, burial, and photosynthesis. According to Haystack Mountain most barley species tend to have long awns however their appearance and length can vary between barley varieties. Through their awns, barley varieties are described as “expressing their beards”.
Barley Loft (noun)
The newest meeting room at the distillery with views out towards the Lochindaal. The perfect spot for making important whisky decisions. Formerly, barley was brought in by “puffer” (coal powered boat) to the pier and stored in one of two barley lofts on the top storey, above the mill house and above what is now the Laddie Shop. It was steeped up there, then carried down gangways to the kiln in the centre of the courtyard. See more of the original distillery layout from 1881 at canmore.org.
Baudoinia Compniacensis (noun)
[ˈhæv(ə)nt a kluː ]
A black fungus found commonly on distillery and warehouse buildings. It feeds on the maturing whisky vapours which naturally evaporate through the cask and into the air. This fungus thrives when alcohol vapours come into contact with moisture in the air.
Bere Barley (noun)
[ beərˈbɑːr.li ]
Bere barley (pronounced “bear”) is one Scotland’s oldest remaining cereals in cultivation. It has six rows of kernels as opposed to the two or four rows on conventional barley varieties. It’s a robust crop that can withstand poor soil conditions and harsh climates and has been growing in the North of Scotland for over a thousand years. This variety of barley not only ticks our boxes of provenance and heritage, but also flavour.
Blood Tub (noun)
[ blʌd tʌb ]
The smallest cask in the whisky industry which can store between 30-40 litres of spirit. They are seldom used commercially but there are a few which are privately owned nestles in Bruichladdich’s warehouses. Due to their small size, maturation is intensified in a blood tub as more of the spirit comes in contact with wood.
Boby Mill (noun)
A common type of mill for the whisky industry, designed by Robert Boby. The mill is made up of two sets of rollers, one of which cracks open the barley and the other grinds it down to become grist which is then used for mashing.
These mills are built to last. Bruichladdich’s has one of the last belt driven boby mill left in Scotland, built in 1913. While most distillers got rid of the saddle leather belts which drive the rollers, Bruichladdich has sustained the traditional. Read more about the intricacies of our Boby mill here.
A large dense foam sponge found in the laddie warehouses used for dropping casks onto to protect the wood. This is especially used during the moving of casks from dunnage warehouses where each cask has to be moved manually without the use of machinery.
“Budgie” / “the Budgie” (noun informal)
[ ˈbʌdʒi ]
Longest serving employee, since 1989 non-stop; before that a Creamery man. Never short of a story, he’s notoriously knowledgable and softly spoken. His mother was born in a house that stood where our warehouse 12 is now. Christened Duncan, he got the name Budgie in his school days at Gorton, no one can remember why.
Bung Hole (noun)
[ bʌŋ həʊl ]
The small round hole in the bilge of a cask to allow for spirit to be filled or emptied. You will often find a bung cloth on our casks; this hessian material makes it easier to extract the bung and forms a seal around the hole to minimise any leaking. A bung of wood or rubber fills a bung hole. A bung hammer screws in to remove a bung from a bung hole.
Bung Up (watchword)
“Bung up” is the best position for a cask to sit while its contents mature to avoid leaks, and to make it easier for Adam to obtain his samples periodically. The full casks are heavy, and working conditions down the stows can be tight, so it’s better to roll them in carefully from the ends so they naturally come to rest with the “bung up” than it is to manoeuvre them once they’re in position. The warehousemen make adjustments as the stow fills up, and have developed a shorthand about what position the bung needs to be in at the start of its roll based on the clock face. If it comes to rest too far over the vertical it is “Fast”, shy of the vertical, it’s “Slow”, and they adjust the starting position accordingly.
Also the name of a computer game about efficient warehouse storage invented by programme guru, Andy Fisher, who worked for five years in the warehouses.
The vessel used for maturing whisky. Also a frequent component of payment, negotiations and deal-sealing in the early cash-strapped days of Bruichladdich.
The act of switching on steam pressure inside the stills to begin distillation. In the stillhouse, steam is ‘charged’ inside the coils (in the spirit stills) and radiators (in the wash stills) which provide the heat for distillation.
Literally translating to ‘castles’ in French, in the wine (and whisky) industry it refers to the name of an estate which produces wine. Thanks orginally to Bruichladdich’s founders’ connection to the wine world through their prior business La Reserve, wine casks from well known producers all over the world are used for maturation. For legal reasons, disclosing the identity of any chateaux is not allowed. More about transparency in casks here.
Chocolate Malt (noun)
Barley which has been roasted rather than air dried or smoked. Bruichladdich have released a chocolate malt valinch in the past which was aged in a Syrah wine cask for 14 years. The limites-edition release had notes of sweet dried fruit and dark chocolate.
Copan (Scottish Gaelic)
Gaelic word for ‘cup’. At 10am on the dot, Mary McGregor from the shop team announces ‘time for a copan’ which is follwed by a trip to the kitchen to make the team a tea or coffee. The ‘copan’ sheet in the staff kitchen keeps her right with everyone’s bespoke ‘copan’ order.
The site of our newest warehouse complex situated behind the distillery. Before the erection of these new buildings, production manager, Allan Logan made the decision to slow down production of spirit due to lack of cask storage space on Islay. He insisted that maturation of Bruichladdich whisky would only ever take place on the island, rather than shipping any over to the mainland- which is important in order to impart a subtle coastal influence into the spirit. Each warehouse at Coultorsay can hold c. 10,000 casks. Planning permission has been grants for the construction of 16 warehouses in total, of which 12 are almost complete and four and a half already filled with casks. It’s a huge investment on Islay.
[ dɪsˈɡɔːdʒ ]
The emptying of whisky casks once maturation is complete. The spirit is emptied through the cask bunghole into the disgorging trough.
[ dɪs.tɪˈleɪ.ʃən ]
The purification process of heating alcohol until it evaporates into vapour and then cooling to condense it back into a liquid state. Most Scottish distillers distil twice to further purify the alcohol and create a stronger spirit. In the Bruichladdich Still House, this is done in our long swan-necked copper stills. The distillation is controlled manually at a trickle to achieve the light, smooth and floral character of our whisky.
[ dræf ]
Also known as spent grains, this refers to the leftover grain in the mash tun after the sugars have been extracted. The draff from the distillery is never wasted and is in fact a useful co-product for our farming community, who collect and use as cattle feed.
The emptying of casks during the vatting process.
[ dʌn.ɪdʒ ]
A centuries old style of warehousing in which casks sit on their sides, no more than three rows high. They are held in place with lengths of wood called skeeds and triangular wedges called scutches – Mesopotamian technology. Dunnage warehouses are usually made with stone walls and natural dirt flooring to help retain moisture in the warehouse, limiting spirit evaporation during maturation. Dunnage storage is significantly less efficient than palletised or racked warehouses as the ceilings are much lower meaning machinery cannot operate inside, so most casks need to be moved manually.
An ingredient you will NOT find in any of our whiskies. E150 is the name of the colouring agent used widely in the whisky industry that imparts a caramel colour to the spirit. Colouring is added during the bottling process and can vary in shade from brown to red depending on usage.
At Bruichladdich, we NEVER use E150. We understand that whisky is a natural product and believe that the colour should be attained exclusively from the oak of the casks the whisky was matured in. In Germany, if any whisky has added colouring it must be stated on the label however this isn’t the case for most other countries.
The final cut of spirit after the foreshots and middle cut, also known as tails. This cut is lowest in alcohol but still has lots of flavour compounds which are not to be wasted. This cut is collected along with the foreshots and stored in the feints receiver to be re-distilled as part of the next distillation.
When distilling different barley types or peating levels, different feints are kept separate in our commitment to keeping provenance and variance.
A natural reed that is fitted into the edges of cask ends and staves to seal the cask and avoid leaking. Watch a video of how this is done at Bruichladdich >> here. ]
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