Bruichladdich Distillery

Islay, United Kingdom

Bruichladdich Distillery produces mainly single malt Scotch whisky, but has also offered artisanal gin. It is owned by Rémy Cointreau and is one of eight working distilleries on the island. Bruichladdich was built in 1881 by the Harvey brothers on the shore of Loch Indaal. The Harveys were a dynastic whisky family that had owned two Glasgow distilleries since 1770. Using an inheritance, the three brothers combined their talents to build a third distillery—Bruichladdich—designed by John, engineered by Robert, and financed by William and other family members. At the time, the distillery was a state-of-the-art design unlike Islay's older distilleries, which had developed from old farm buildings. It was built from stone from the sea shore and has a very efficient layout, built around a large, spacious courtyard.

The uniquely tall and narrow-necked stills were chosen to produce a very pure and original spirit, the opposite of the styles produced by the older farm distilleries. Bruichladdich was run by William Harvey, after a quarrel with his brothers before the distillery was even completed, until a fire in 1934 and his death in 1936. Over the next forty years it subsequently changed owners several times as a result of corporate take-overs and rationalisation of the industry, narrowly avoiding closure until 1994, when it was shut down as being 'surplus to requirements'.

The distillery was subsequently purchased by a group of private investors led by Mark Reynier of Murray McDavid on 19 December 2000. Jim McEwan, who had worked at Bowmore Distillery since the age of 15, was hired as master distiller and production director. Between January and May 2001 the whole distillery was dismantled and reassembled, with the original Victorian décor and equipment retained. Having escaped modernisation, most of the original Harvey machinery is still in use today. No computers are used in production with all processes controlled by a pool of skilled artisans who pass on information orally and largely measure progress using dipsticks and simple flotation devices.

On 23 July 2012, it was announced that Rémy Cointreau reached an agreement with Bruichladdich to buy the distillery for a sum of £58m.



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A847, Islay, United Kingdom
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Founded: 1881
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in United Kingdom


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

kerry worbey (10 months ago)
Absolutely amazing morning this morning at the distillery. We had a tour with Ashley who was fantastic. She was down to earth, friendly and definitely knows her stuff. Thank you so much all four of us found the tour very interesting. We will definitely return in the future. So very tempted to move to Islay now.
M Gonzalez (10 months ago)
Getting to Islay is no easy task, but it is completely worth the effort! Loved the tour! Our tour guide was so informative and very sweet!
Emily Gordon (10 months ago)
I think this is the best distillery on Islay ? Ruby was helping us in the shop and she was brilliant, so full of knowledge! We both thought that she should definitely be the next person the head distiller chooses for the barrel named after the staff. I also felt that the prices of the whisky here are reasonable and cheaper than some of the others on the island.
David Rasmussen (12 months ago)
Maybe my favorite distillery on Islay. Not just because of the great whisky and gin, but because of their always friendly and approachable staff. They are extremely kind and friendly - which means you almost can’t help to buy a few bottles ???
Manuela Bissacco (14 months ago)
It was amazing. The girls, Sam and another one were our guides for the distillery and warehouse. Loverly and funny, both of them. They explained everything and more. I had the greatest time with Ingle at the master class of The Botanist gin. We have fun and speak about spices and herbs, botanicals and so on... I girl after my own heart. I love the vibes of the distillery itself. Old and new. To never discard an idea.... Lovely as well the drams we tried. And the treasures I found in the warehouse.
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