In The Field

We respect the past but don't live in its shadow. We believe in innovation and progress, while striving to create intriguing spirit - a spirit with flawless integrity and provenance. We are curious and restless - we never leave well enough alone. Pathfinders where angels fear to tread.

We believe that Islay whisky should have an authenticity derived from where it is distilled and where it is matured... from the philosophies of those who distil it. A sense of place, of terroir that speaks of the land, the barley, the water and the human soul  that gave it life.

There are many who would see whisky distilling as an industrial process – a means of standard manufacture and nothing more. We understand distilling to be an ancient art, one that has intrigued the human spirit for centuries. A black art, a mysterious and enigmatic alchemy, that explores the very depths of the distiller’s soul.

Diversity starts in the field. Provenance is key. We believe the interaction of man, land, soil and climate – known as terroir in wine circles – is paramount. We value our farmer relationships, reconnecting that lost cycle between farmer and distiller - land and spirit.

We use only Scottish-grown barley (it is called "Scotch" after all); we are also committed to protecting heritage varieties and are working with the Highlands and Islands Agronomy Institute on Orkney, who are growing Bere barley exclusively for Bruichladdich. This ancient six-row ‘landrace’ of barley is one of the oldest cultivated cereals in the world and would have been familiar to the Vikings and their distant forefathers. Grains of six-row barley have been found on archaeological sites in Orkney that date back some 6,000 years.

This is not the espousal of some trendy cause, it is a passionate manifestation of our philosophy and values – local produce created with local farmers

Bruichladdich has made commitments to Islay farmers who now grow barley for us, enabling us to distil single malts from 100% Islay barley for the first time in the island's history. From barley to barrel to bottle each origin is kept separate for ultimate traceability. We are also the major distiller of organic barley in Scotland and have been instrumental in the support for organic farming in the single malt category.

This is not the espousal of some trendy cause, it is a passionate manifestation of our philosophy and values – local produce created with local farmers, from barley grown on fields we can see from our distillery windows. We think of it as a “radical old idea”.

And the proof of the "pudding"? In 2011 the International Taste and Quality Institute’s august and elite panel of Michelin and Gault Millau-rated tasters, awarded our Organic whisky three stars (out of three) and “Exceptional” status – the only whisky in the world to be thus recognised.

For us, this recognition justifies our passionately-held belief that soil, the “terroir”, a respect for centuries-old farming practices and the reconnection of the spirit with man and his land make a difference in the glass.

Once again, land and dram united.

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