For many whisky producers this is a commodity product, to be bought from wherever happens to be supplying the cheapest tonnage at the time – be that Scotland, Poland or Lithuania.
For us it is a living, organic expression of the land, of the terroir in which it’s grown. Our farmers are known to us by first name. They tell us about the soil, the wind, the drainage, the aspect, the micro-climate of every field.
We are even now releasing whiskies distilled from barley from not just individual farms, but individual fields and harvests. A fascinating and ongoing exploration of the influence of terroir on finished spirit. This “micro-provenance” is hardly industrial distilling, but we believe it’s important – land and dram reunited.
And it is a source of great pride to us that we have developed partnerships with farmers on Islay that enable us to produce single malts made from 100% Islay barley. For the first time in recorded history we are able to look out of the distillery window and see the fields of barley that will produce this season’s spirit – that is provenance, that is place, that is a spirit that will speak of its origins, its heritage and the many passionate artisans who contributed to its creation.