Scotland and Scotch whisky: Islay  whisky through the producing distilleries: history, making, maps and tasting notes




Bruichladdich Distillery
Port Charlotte
Islay - Argyll PA49 7UN
+44 1496 850 221

Owner: Rémy Cointreau

Ceation date: 1881

The distillery is on the shore of Lochindaal, on the road to Port Charlotte. It was built in 1881 by the Harvey brothers: William, Robert and John Gourlay. Their father, William Harvey was the owner of the once famous Glasgow distilleries Dundashill and Yoker and bequeathed the money to his sons expressly to build a distillery on Islay.
In 1886, the society took the name of Bruichladdich Distillery Co and all the shares were owned by the Harfey family.
Following the death of the manager and family shareholder Kenneth Harvey during the big recession of 1929 the distillery to close its doors until the Second World War when the distillery was sold to Associated Scottish Distillers ltd, owned by National Distillers in the United States in 1938. Other distilleries were bought by the same group in the same period: Ben Nevis, Benromach and Fettercairn.
The distillery was sold in 1952 to Ross & Coulter. The latter society was bought by A.B Grant in 1960. The malting floors were closed in 1961 in common with other Islay distilleries when the large maltings at Port Ellen was constructed.. Invergordon Distillers took the distillery over in 1968. Invergordon became later part of Whyte & MacKay in 1993, itself part of the american group JBB Greater Europe (Jim Beam Brands) which in turn was owned by the US giant Fortune Brands (2006: Beam Global Spirits & Wine ) who mothballed the distillery in 1994
In december 2000 a group of private investors, led by Mark Reynier of Murray McDavid, a famous independent Scottish whisky trader, bought the distillery..
It is managed since then by Jim Mac Ewan, former director of the Bowmore distillery, and an emblematic character of the Isle.of Islay and winner of Distiller of the Year for an unprecedented three times. 
Since 2002, three single malts are produced at the distillery: Bruichladdich of course, but also a peaty malt, called Port Charlotte at 40 PPM and the earth shattering Octomore - the world's heaviest peaty whisky at an astounding 80.5 PPM. From May 2003 Bruichladdich is bottled at the distillery -the only Islay whisky that is distilled, matured and bottled on the Island. All Bruichladdich is bottled un chill filtered, caramel free and at 46%. Each bottling is a cuvée created by Master Distiller Jim McEwan. From 2004 Bruichladdich will experiment a 100% organic malt, produced from organic grown barley.
All the whisky production is now retained for the distillery's own use as Bruichladdich single malt.
The independent bottler, Murray McDavid is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bruichladdich Distillery Company Ltd.

The distillery has been purchased by Rémy Cointreau on July 23, 2012




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