The wild west Atlantic facing coast gave birth to this third release in our uber-provenance Islay barley series. Harvested in 2006 & distilled in 2007, the grain for this iconic whisky was grown for Bruichladdich in the minister’s field at Rockside farm by Mark and Rohaise French, producing a whisky of exceptional complexity. We believe terroir matters. Distinctive, authentic and unique, this is land and dram united.
– Ultimate provenance: single Islay farm, single field, single vintage – Core product; limited release – 3rd release in our ongoing Islay barley exploration series – Unpeated Islay single malt scotch whisky – Distilled using 100% Islay barley – 50% abv for maximum mouthfeel – American oak cask maturation – Matured entirely on islay – Bottled at the distillery using Islay spring water – Non chill filtered – Colouring free
Character – Honed, muscular and lithe. The texture is rich and robust. With a brilliant marine / maltiness very much in evidence. There is an innocence and purity in this spirit that is rare due to the small amount of barley grown on Islay, with its absolutely unique weather system that creates the character & flavours of this truly natural spirit. Welcome back. Many years have passed since the world last enjoyed your company.
Colour – Golden hay/warm honey.
Nose – The bouquet amazes with the freshness of the spirit, the first notes to evolve are honey & lemon zest derived from the cask & salt encrusted barley. Then savour aromas of flora & fauna growing wild on the peat- lands & coastline of Islay, followed by the soft fruits from distillation, the sweetness of sun- dried barley, the creme-brulee notes of caramelised wood sugars provided by the 100 year old american oak. Transport yourself to Islay simply by closing your eyes and inhaling. The key to this spirit is the unique citrus freshness of barley grown in salty soil. Amazing.
Palate – The oak has been waiting patiently and now it cradles all of the aromatics. This malt is in so perfect a place at this time that I cannot ever recall such a pleasurable taste experience. The flavours of this island detonate across the palate. Made and matured by the ocean by real artisans, working with victorian equipment. It’s the start of a journey that few have ever dreamed about and now it’s possible for us to walk with this young Ileach as he challenges the shaman and their marketing myths.
Finish – With no chill filtration the palate is bathed in an amazing spiritual composition. The viscosity of spirit ensures that the taste buds will still be experiencing the strong pulse of passion that has gone into the making of this true son of Islay, finally leaving you with a feeling of sublime contentment.
Mood – This is the big easy. enjoy with friends. I prefer to share my time alone with our son and take in the story he tells of good days to come and hopes for the future. So, it’s best to listen to the story rather than the chatter of those who just don’t get it.
It started with our friend ‘Demolition Dave’ helping Duncan McGillivray and his gang to demolish the old Inverleven distillery – buying up all the old equipment for scrap and loading it onto barges on the Clyde. All so Duncan had some spares to keep Bruichladdich running in the days of No Money.
As this odd flotilla was being towed round the Mull of Kintyre and up to Islay, Laddie MD Mark Reynier received an email from the Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in the USA who had been monitoring distillery webcams on the grounds that our processes could have been ‘tweaked’ to produce the dreaded WMD. ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’.
Never one to allow the opportunity for a good story to pass him by, or to get his beloved distillery in the news, Reynier embellished the tale, which soon grew to involve spies and the CIA and visits by weapons inspectors. All of which made great headline-grabbing copy in the febrile media atmosphere then prevailing around WMD.
One of the stills from Inverleven was dutifully set up outside the old Victorian buildings, and became an iconic sight, with a pair of Duncan’s old wellie boots sticking out of the top to represent those weapons inspectors searching for dangerous chemicals deep in its copper bottomed interior.
A special bottling was commissioned (of course) and dubbed the ‘Whisky of Mass Distinction’ (geddit?) and much hilarity ensued. At least among the Laddies, the rest of the whisky industry having long since given up on the noisily irreverent rebels.
Things were about to get even more eccentric because, shortly afterwards, Islay fisherman John Baker was heading home to Port Ellen when he spotted something awash in the sea off the bow of his boat. Being a resourceful man, he attached a rope to said object and towed it into the pier where Gordon Currie lifted it out of the water. It proved to be a very beautiful yellow submarine.
Very conveniently, the yellow vessel had ‘Ministry of Defence’ and a telephone number stencilled on it, which was of course immediately called. What happened next was to become the stuff of legend. He was connected to the Royal Navy. “I have found your yellow submarine” said John. “We haven’t lost a yellow submarine” said the Navy. Which was an odd response as the evidence to the contrary was overwhelming.
John and Gordon then loaded the submarine onto a lorry and took it to a secret location in Port Ellen (actually fellow fisherman Harold Hastie’s back garden). The local newspaper was called, then the nationals, and the following day the red-tops were full of pictures of the two friends astride the lethal-looking machine, carrying fishing rods, and asking: “Has anybody lost a yellow submarine?”
Hilarious… unless you were the Royal Navy – who did eventually admit to it being theirs. HMS Blyth, the minesweeper that lost it, eventually came to pick it up, slipping into the pier at dawn to winch it aboard. By that time, Bruichladdich had (of course) commissioned another bottling, WMD2: The Yellow Submarine, and a box of lovely liquid was graciously offered, and accepted by the captain as a goodwill gesture.