In The Vatting Hall

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.

Fundamentally we believe in natural whisky - no chill-filtration or colouring, two commercial processes (in widespread use in the mainstream Scotch whisky industry) that we feel lack authenticity and detract from the integrity of the spirit. The former removes flavour and texture, the latter adds artificial sweetening and colour.

Our preferred whisky strength is 50% - diluted down from natural cask strength with our treasured Islay spring water.

We have a natural curiosity. We are fascinated by the many influences on maturing spirit – oak, air, humidity, cask size and particularly cask origin

We have a natural curiosity. We are fascinated by the many influences on maturing spirit – oak, air, humidity, cask size and particularly cask origin. For too long the industry has compromised on barrel quality; we have put in place a comprehensive wood policy with no expense spared.

We are unashamedly experimental in our cask use. What many critics of wine barrel maturation forget is that the use of Bourbon casks, and before that the now revered sherry butts, was once also considered a radical departure and no doubt “dangerous experimentation”. The Scottish whisky producer only turned to sherry butts when supply of his favourite Gascony wine barrels was interrupted by (frequent) war with France in the 19th century. For our part we have (re-) introduced the subtle integration of French oak from the best wine estates in the world. Simply, these winemakers use the very best oak in the world, so the contribution of this extra maturation on our single malt is more complex, profound and nuanced than many give it credit for.

This is about authenticity and provenance, and is a product of our unending curiosity to explore the true and complex nature of this fantastic spirit

So while we have a deep respect for classic Bourbon-aged Scotch - our Scottish Barley single malt is a fine example - our head distiller, Adam Hannett, also uses his knowledge of wood, to create a number of subtle “cuvées”; some, like Champagne, are married from across the ages to create a specific character; others, married from different wood or cask types, or barley varieties, including those organicly grown. Some are even from single estates, single terroir, many extolling the attributes of a single vintage.

This is not gimmickery or meddling, and it’s certainly not marketing. This is about authenticity and provenance, and is a product of our unending curiosity to explore the true and complex nature of this fantastic spirit, Bruichladdich single malt.

We look for balance, harmony and complexity. We want a brain-stimulating experience, that satisfies the soul, that develops in the glass and evolves on the palate, and lingers in the mind.

We directly challenge the tyranny of the arbitrary age statement - is a 20-year-old necessarily any better than a 16½-year-old? If several vintages together provide more complexity - why not? Is a single vintage always best? Can a 5 year-old out-perform a 30-year old (our 5 year-old Octomore Orpheus was voted Single Malt of 2010 by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible)?

By definition all our bottlings are artisanal, hand-crafted and small batch. We deliberately choose not to homogenise or standardise preferring individuality, character and perhaps a certain intellectual provocation.

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