Bruichladdich ("The brae (hill) by the shore") is Scotland's westernmost intact distillery on the north shore of Islay's loch Indaal, facing Bowmore across the water. Bruichladdich's water rises from a hillside spring and flows over peat. It is however a less peaty water than used by other distilleries. Bruichladdich's stills have tall necks, producing a relatively light, clean spirit. Unlike the other Islay distilleries it is separated from the sea, albeit only by a quiet coast road, across which it has an old loading pier - one of the initial attractions of the site. The Harvey brothers, Robert, William and John founded it in 1881, it was rebuilt in 1886 and - despite an extension in 1975 - is little changed since. The Harvey family interests were consolidated into the Bruichladdich Distillery Company in 1886 and this company ran the distillery till it was forced to close during the inter-war years. In the late 1930s American investment in Scotch whisky enabled Joseph Hobbs to buy and reopen the distillery at which point it rapidly passed to Associated Scottish Distillers Ltd and thence to Ross and Coulter, A.B. Grant's company Bruichladdich Proprietors Ltd and finally to Invergordon distillers, part of the Whyte and Mackay group.
The original distillery was coal-fired and produced 94,000 gallons per annum.
By 1962 this had nearly doubled and by the time Whyte and Mackay mothballed it
in 1995 it was producing some 800,000 proof gallons/annum. This was achieved
through abandoning in-house malt production, enlarging the mash-house and
tun-room and adding two extra stills to the original pattern.
© Michael Jackson 1994, o.m.
Gleaned from the Malts mailing list:
Unsubstantiated and contradictory rumour:
"I asked what was going on at Bruichladdich a few months ago and got the answer that the crew from Jura was there for a short period, more or less to be able to sell the distillery. Now I just heard a rumour (not from a reliable source) that Bruichladdich is taking over the production from Jura permanently. Is there any substance in [either of these] rumours?. [ag 147/3.98]
Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay, Argyll, PA49 7UN
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