Bruichladdich

  • Pronunciation: BrooK-laddie
  • Meaning: Gaelic word Bruichladdich is "stony shore bank", referring to a post-glacial raised beach, although another translation may be "rocky lee shore"
  • Founded: 1881
  • Region: Islay
  • Status: Operational
  • Owner: Rémy Cointreau
  • Production Capacity: 1,500,000 litres a year

Built in 1881 by three brothers surnamed Harvey who then had a falling out prior to the distillery's completion. The distillery changed hands numerous times over the years prior to being closed in 1994. In the year 2000 the distillery was reopened by Mark Reynier, Jim McEwan and a cabal of investors. Together they set about reviving Bruichladdich. They aimed to be innovative and progressive. With a plethora of successful experiments, finishes, peat levels and even the production of the Botanist Gin, they re-created the distillery a step away from the rest of Islay and created a unique range of products and an iconic brand identity.

The phoenix from the ashes did not go unnoticed and in 2012, Rémy Cointreau purchased the distillery. So far there seems to be no change in direction or in quality from them. With continued growth and popularity the future is bright for Bruichladdich.

Listing Bruichladdich's releases is a gargantuan task! So we will only scratch the surface here. Leaving out their delicious gin, they primarily focus on three styles of whisky. The unpeated Bruichladdich, the heavily peated Islay style Port Charlotte and the chart breaking, record smashing, top of the scale super, heavy weight of peat levelled monster: Octomore!

Bruichladdich’s core range is now focussed around the provenance of the barley, with the Bruichladdich Scottish Barley and Islay Barley, Bere Barley, Organic Barley as well as Port Charlotte Scottish Barley and PC11 and Octomore 6.1 Scottish Barley and 6.2 Ltd edition cask finis.

Bruichladdich's “regular peat level” highly peated whisky is named Port Charlotte, after Port Charlotte distillery (1829 until 1929 – please see separate Whisky Auctioneer page for more information). Much heavier than their standard output, the PC series has been a hit with both collectors and drinkers. PC5, PC6, PC7, PC8, PC9 and PC10 are all very sought after. The Port Charlotte 10 year old, An Turas Mor, The Peat Project and the most recent release Scottish Barley have all carried the Port Charlotte brand.

Bruichladdich's “highly” highly peated whisky is named Octomore, also named after a closed Islay distillery that was located in Port Charlotte between 1816 and 1852. Octomore is peated to such a high level, it is debatable whether or not the human palate can detect the increasing PPM with each release. The following have been available 1.1, 2.1, 2.2 Orpheus, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2 Comus, 5.1, 6.1, travel retail exclusive 6.2 and the Octomore 10 year old.

The Still series is also of note to collectors. Starting in 2006 with the Blacker Still distilled in 1986 (2840 bottles) then being followed up by The Redder Still from 1984 (4080 bottles) and completed with 2008 release of the Golder Still, again from 1984 (4866 bottles).

The DNA range from Bruichladdich features some of the oldest whisky they will ever bottle. The 1st release was a 36 year old, the second was a 32 year old, the third was a 25 year old and the fourth and final release was a 27 year old. We will probably have to wait a long time for releases this age again.

The Legacy are a collection of six Bruichladdichs that were available annually from 2002 to 2007. The 1st Legacy was a 1966 vintage that was 36 years old, the 2nd Legacy was 37 years old, 3rd Legacy was a 1968 vintage 35 year old, 4th Legacy was a 32 year old, 5th Legacy was a multi-vintage 33 year old and the 6th release was a vatting of 1965, 1970 and 1972 labelled as a 34 year old. All limited and all fairly difficult to source now, these old Bruichladdichs have had no proper replacement.

For the distilleries 125th anniversary, they released 2,502 bottles of 35 year old that was finished in a Pinot Gris cask.

To celebrate the distillery re-commencing distillation on 29th of May 2001, 250 bottles were filled from cask 5079 (48.2%) and 250 from cask 5081 (45.5%) they were signed by Jim McEwan and labelled Bruichladdich Valinch I Was There. A third cask 5085(47.3%) was also used to fill 250 bottles and called “I was there – but not that day” and also signed by Jim McEwan. These are bona_fide pieces of Bruichladdich's rich history and worth every penny of their high asking price.

The oldest Bruichladdich, distilled in 1964 and matured in bourbon casks was released as a 40 year old, of which only 500 were made available. 

CURRENT AUCTION ends Monday 6th March, from 7pm (GMT).

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