Latest update: April 28th 2015




Back at Bruichladdich, what does it mean when a nice little distillery gets taken over by a giant like Rémy Cointreau. At this moment, not too much. The distillery is still going strong, with the addition of Ugly Betty, the gin still, as yet another feature. A lot of young staff that has been drilled by the experienced staff, which is noticeable. A great warehouse tasting, and yes it is like old times.














The pictures in the slide show at the left, were taken by Frans Brouwer – The Whisky Friend, and his travelling companion Hennie van Staden. The pictures are used with kind permission from him.

logo the whisky friend

















The Bruichladdich Distillery was built 1881, for William Harvey IV and his two brothers (Robert and John) by their uncle, Barnet Harvey, financed by a bequest from their father William Harvey III. They chose a location on the edge of Loch Indaal, on the Rhinns, the most westerly point of Islay. This is a state-of-the-art distillery, and it has remained very much the same ever since. It was the first purpose built distillery on Islay, as the other distilleries where farms, where they also took up distilling. After lots of owners, it latterly was owned by Jim Beam Brands, through Whyte & Mackay and Invergordon. It was closed and left idle, ‘surplus to requirements’.

It is at that time, that Mark Reynier visited Islay to visit some distilleries. He saw Bruichladdich lying idle and his plan was born to buy the distillery. On December 19th 2000, finally the deal was completed, half an hour after his son, Ruaridh, was born.

With friends Simon Coughlin and Gordon Wright (from the Springbank Wrights and currently working as independent bottler, the Alchemist), Jim McEwan and Andrew Gray from Bowmore, he formed an independent Scottish company with entirely private shareholders.

After the entire distillery was renovated distilling re-started on May 29th 2001 with the heavily peated Port Charlotte (40 ppm). This is not the only new aspect to the distillery. Since the re-start Bruichladdich uses 3 peating levels: Bruichladdich (very light peat influenced at malting), Port Charlotte (40 ppm) and Octomore (80 ppm). They also use 3 distillation techniques: double distillation, triple distillation (Trestarig, restarted 2005) and quadruple distillation (Perilous whisky, restarted 2006). Their barley comes from a few designated farms. Bruichladdich does not malt their own barley, they receive their malt from Bairds Malt in Inverness. They malt it at the specifications that Bruichladdich asks.

At the distillery it is milled at a belt driven Boby mill, which was installed in 1913. The weighing (Avery) and dresser (Boby Rotary Malt Screen) were built in 1881.

A rare sight nowadays, is the open cast-iron mash tun from 1881. The mash size that Bruichladdich takes is 5 tonnes.

There are 6 Oregon pine washbacks taking each 25,000 litres. One washback carries the name of Duncan McGillivray, the current distillery manager.

The 2 wash stills have a capacity of 17,275 each and were built in 1881 and 1975. The 2 spirit stills have a capacity of 12,275 litres and were built in 1972 and 1975.

Bruichladdich has 8 warehouses at the facility and a further 4 warehouses at Port Charlotte. Half of the warehouses are dunnage and half are racking.

Bruichladdich has its own cooperage and bottling hall.

An announcement was made early 2006 that they are going to rebuilt the Port Charlotte distillery. This will be on the premises of the former Loch Indaal distillery, with equipment of the defunct Inverleven distillery. They hope to start production at this new distillery in 2008.

Also at Bruichladdich on of Jim McEwan’s dreams was fulfilled as he was able to open his whisky academy. Here people can learn the art of distilling.



Distillery information:



Isle of Islay  PA49 7UN


Tel.: 0044 – (0)1496 850 190



Thanks to Mark Reynier (CEO of Bruichladdich) and Jim McEwan (Master distiller).