A state-of-the-art facility that was custom-designed to produce the purest spirit possible at a time when other distilleries on the island (including some now famous names) were developing out of cramped farmstead operations.
Using a century of distilling knowledge gained from the family distilleries in Glasgow under the tutelage of his uncle Barnett, Robert’s brother, John Harvey, provided the expertise.
The distillery was built around a spacious courtyard, on a slope to allow gravity feeding from mash to spirit house. It was well understood that the minimum intervention of pre-fermented wash the better. Several clever innovations were included, such as anti-collapse measures on the stills, later taken on by all other Scottish distilleries.
Sadly the Harvey Brothers were better distillers and engineers than they were businessmen and Bruichladdich distillery struggled against the sharper, big industry interests of its day. However their loss has been our gain.
We still use much of the original equipment installed by our visionary Victorian forefathers. One wash still from 1881, recently renovated, may be the oldest in Scotland. Temperamental it may be, but it was designed in a gentler, slower age when distilling was more artisan than science, and our tall, long-necked stills – the antithesis of those prevailing at the time – still produce the soft, elegant, floral whisky for which Bruichladdich is rightly famous.