The terroir of the Octomore field is quite complicated and the crop on the higher slope, the top two thirds of the field, ripened significantly faster than that on the lower flat ground So much so that only the top part has been gathered in so far – the grain in the bottom section will have to wait a while…
If the barley can vary so dramatically from one end of a field to the other, imagine the variations possible as you move from farm to farm? Or from Islay to the mainland, or from the west of the country to the east?
The whisky industry has historically shown little interest in the provenance of the barley it uses. The law says that Scotch whisky has to be distilled in Scotland, but it does not even require the barley to be Scottish. Much of it isn’t.
At Bruichladdich, we use 100% Scottish barley. Around a quarter of our Scottish barley comes from Islay where farmers have been growing for us since 2004. Some of that grain has been distilled from island-wide sources, some of it has been distilled in groups of farms, some from single farms and some can be traced to individual fields.
Our current release of Islay Barley, has single field provenance, grown at Rockside during 2006, and was distilled in 2007.
Our aim is to produce the most thought provoking whisky possible. With spirit from a decade of Scottish and Islay harvests maturing in our warehouses, there are fascinating times ahead.