You can trully call the reopening of the Bruichladdich distillery a schoolboys dream since it doesn't happen often that a reopened distillery receives so many rewards, is so well appreciated with the public and is also so successful in their first years of operation. But how did it all start? A short overview of the facts:
Bruichladdich Distillery was built in 1881 by the brothers Robert William and John Gourlay Harvey in an idyllic spot on the shore of Loch Indaal. At the time, the distillery was state-of-the-art and the equipment continues to be used unchanged. Unlike other distilleries, which were often built from old farm houses, the building was erected specifically for this purpose. The distillery changed owners and was out of use from 1929 to 1937. After it reopened in 1937 the distillery was once again closed in 1994.
In the year 2000 the purchase of the Distillery and all her stocks was completed by Mark Reynier - after 8 years of trying - on 19th December 2000. With his friends from Murray McDavid, Simon Coughlin and Gordon Wright, and Jim McEwan from Bowmore an independent Scottish company with entirely private shareholders was formed - Independent once again! Andrew Gray joins as sales Director and shareholder.
From January to May 2001 the distillery was completely renovated by a team of local people led by Distillery Manager Duncan McGillivray. On the 29th of May 2001 distilling started again with a new Spirit Port Charlotte (40ppm) in homage to the Harvey Brothers, and the original Bruichladdich first distilled in 1881.
Other memorable facts are the opening of the bottling hall, the only one on Islay, in 2003. That same year they receive the Distillery of the Year award from the Malt Advocate Magazine already for the second time and in 2005 they receive the Queens Award for Enterprise. Something to be very proud of.
In this particular post the good old days at Bruichladdich will take you back to the year 2001. Today Michael at Bruichladdich posted some very interesting videos on the Laddie podcast. So far there are three videos from the early days of the reopening. The first video is called removing the sign which explained that the distillery wasn't open for visitors. The second video is the filling of casks nr 1 and 2 and the third video shows the very first distillation of spirit in May 2001. Michael told me there will be more coming soon so stay tuned and enjoy!
2007 festival: Bruichladdich open day and Islay Pipe Band