Water is something that excites us almost as much as barley here at Bruichladdich. We need lots of it for distillation, the vast majority of which is used for cooling the condensers that turn the precious spirit vapours that rise from the stills back into liquid at just the right time. The water for these condensers comes from the burn that runs past the distillery, but when we enjoy lovely long hot summers (like this one) then the burn is reduced to a trickle.
To augment the trickle, we have our own reservoir, called An Torran which is situated in the rolling hills that rise up behind the distillery around a mile from Bruichladdich. We can open a valve up near the dam which lets water out from the reservoir and down into the burn, boosting its flow and allowing the stillmen to keep distilling.
Even our reservoir has its limits though, and this has been a very long, very hot summer by Islay standards. As you can see from the photo taken a couple of days ago that shows our General Duncan McGillivray and the photographer William Cooper-Mitchell An Torran is all but empty. Happily this does not really matter in this instance because we have just started a scheduled pause in distillation in order to service our boiler, which should give An Torran time to fill up again. Everything will be fine.