Bruichladdich, who describe themselves as "°Ð«Ñ‡progressive Hebridean distillers"°Ð«Ð„, are proud to be non-conformist and to do things a little differently. This modern approach is juxtaposed against their traditional and local values "°Ð«Ð¢ maturing and bottling all their spirit on the island, using only Scottish-produced barley and retaining Victorian-era equipment, including the only open-topped mash tun on Islay and the last remaining belt-driven mill in Scotland.
William Harvey assumed outright control not long after the distillery was built and retained ownership until his death in the 1930s. The distillery' spirit was then used mainly for blending purposes for the next 60 years with a variety of owners, including whisky brokers Ross and Coulter in the 1950s and AB Grant in the 1960s. A period of stability followed with Invergordon distillers (later to be purchased by Whyte & Mackay) buying the distillery towards the end of the 1960s and, a few periods of temporary mothballing excepted, producing until selling the distillery to Murray McDavid in 2000 for ÐµÐˆ6.5m.
The new owners, headed by wine merchant Mark Reynier along with master distiller Jim McEwan (a former employee of Bowmore for 37 years), transformed the distillery' prospects with their unique and innovative bottlings and style of packaging, many of which have gained worldwide recognition. After being fiercely independent for more than a decade, such was Bruichladdich' success that it drew the interest of RÐœ©my Cointreau, which bought the company in 2012 for ÐµÐˆ58m but insisted it carries on in the same vein.
Bruichladdich is an unpeated whisky "°Ð«Ð¢ rare among other distilleries on the island, with only Bunnahabhain doing likewise. Its peated whiskies (Port Charlotte and Octomore) are kept as separate brands so as not to confuse the consumer. The distillery is known for being blessed with some of the best spirit in Scotland, helped by the tall, narrow-necked stills which produce an elegant, floral and fruity house style. The distillery is unique on the island with its vast range of cask-finished whiskies, many of which are non-traditional for whisky ageing, such as casks which used to hold Cognac, Isle of JuranÐœ¤on and Pinot Gris.
Master distiller Jim McEwan specially chose the casks that create the Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, which highlight the elegance within this heavily peated single malt. Made with 100% Scottish barley and matured in the village of Port Charlotte.
A swell of aromatics flood the senses with notes of iodine, salty canvas, crushed sea shells, charred oak staves, black pepper, paprika and leather tobacco pouches. The flavours explode brilliantly onto the palate. Full of depth and complexity, the smokey sweetness of the barley contrasts beautifully with the marine freshness of the spirit and the richness of toffee and vanilla.