Bruichladdich has been a relatively new find for me, given that a new whisky takes a while to make it into the (state owned) liquor stores here in New Hampshire. I was first drawn by the magic words on the bottle “non-chill filtered” and “colouring free” on the label. This is typically a sign that the producer cares about the quality of the product rather than the number of units it can sell to the mass market.
The amazing thing is how purist the Bruichladdich distillery is. Having been opened relatviely recently, they are creating many different and new expressions while making sure that they maintain much of the original techniques. There are no computers on the production line, and it is difficult to distinguish their mode of operation compared to, say, a hundred years ago.
For a great introduction to Bruichladdich from the point of view of Managing Director Mark Reynier, check out Single Malt TV (the price of subscription is well worth it for some excellent quality videos and the library is constantly growing). Mark obviously has passion for a great product, that shines through when tasting any of their products. The base 10y.o. is very bright (in colour, aroma and flavour) and has a light refreshing palate. The 15 year old is more robust and more recognizable as an Islay. Each whisky has its own purpose and time of day, and the 10y.o. is a great aperitif.
The main point of this post, however, is the exciting news that the Bruichladdich company are not resting on their laurels and are reopening a distillery in the town of Port Charlotte on Islay. Port Charlotte distillery was open between 1829 and 1929, but recent news is that Mark Reynier and company plan on starting production sometime in the next couple of years. Given the excellent product line from the award winning stable of Bruichladdich, this has to be great news for all whisky lovers. They even purchased a distillery from the mainland and dismantled it for use on Islay. Many of these parts will come to good use when resurrecting Port Charlotte. More information on the Bruichladdich website.
[Correction: According to the Bruichladdich website, Jim McEwan was responsible for the idea of buying the Inverleven ditillery. Thanks Armin for spotting that]