In other words, whisky from barley with genuine provenance varies much like vintages of fine wine.
We started to test this theory on Islay as long ago as 2004 when local farmer Raymond Stewart planted a small field of malting barley for the first time. To general astonishment, the harvest was successful and Islay Barley 2004, almost certainly the first Islay single malt ever produced from barley entirely grown on the island was eventually released.
Since that small experimental beginning, we have steadily built up our maturing stocks of uber-provenance spirit. More and more farmers have become involved and a series of five unpeated whisky vintages made from 100% Islay Barley have been released to date.
This new release is from the 2009 growing season, the consolidation of harvests from eight farms across the breadth of Islay and distilled during 2010. It is perhaps the first that can be called a regional Islay release. Adam Hannett describes his latest creation as like: “A sea breeze filled with a delicate floral bouquet and hints of brown sugar and toffee on the palate. An ozone fresh finish with zesty lemon and that note of windswept salt.”
The style is very Bruichladdich, but this new whisky is indeed subtly different to those that have gone before and an inspiration to those who care about provenance and traceability.
It is worth noting that we have never claimed that barley from one location in Scotland is better than that grown in any other, merely that they are differences between them. And that these differences, in an age where bland homogeneity is the rule, are interesting and stimulating for their own sake.
Islay Barley 2010 >>