In the early years of our distillery’s resurrection, we set off on a journey to explore new realms of flavour in single malt whisky. Outside of the standard system of growing and selling barley, we rebuilt a different way of sourcing our all-important raw ingredients. By nurturing relationships with farmers, maltsters, agronomists, and barley breeders, we would encourage these people to work with us outside of the traditional means. We would shoulder the risk together, and as distillers, we would have our eyes opened to the complexities of arable farming in Scotland and beyond.
Harvest after harvest, parcel after parcel, we’d celebrate the variety and nuance of every growing season and our partners’ annual effort. The vibrant complexity of cereals would be retained in every traceable batch of Scotch. Barley was given its rightful place as whisky’s primary raw ingredient, and we’d find quality casks that would build on, not overshadow, the DNA of the very spirit we worked so hard to bring to life.
Exploring what barley and where it would be sown, knowing who would grow it all started as a relatively simple idea to pursue flavour where no other distiller (at that time) was thinking to look. With our first unpeated Islay-grown barley distilled in 2004 and our first ancient grain of Bere barley harvested in 2005, it’s astonishing to think how far we have come, what we have learned and what new experiments are still to come some 16 years on.
The vintages we release today are a testament to the stamina and longevity of our first barley projects and the people who have persevered with us on our mission to discover differences in food and drink. With many more casks of our collective work stored in our warehouses, we look forward to releasing more of our successful legacies and others not yet tasted.