Kilchoman and Bruichladdich distillery rely for a part of their ingredients for whisky making on locally grown barley. Currently around 25 percent of the barley used by Bruichladdich is from Islay, for Kilchoman that percentage is substantially higher, if not all! Kilchoman also have their own "Kilchoman Branded" combine since this year, see photo taken yesterday evening at sunset with the Atlantic in the background.
In recent years the demand for Islay grown barley has increased and more and more fields turn golden in late summer when the barley is ready to be harvested and used to produce some of the excellent Islay malt whiskies.
To harvest the barley a few conditions need to be met. The fields shouldn't be too sodden, preferably dry for the heavy machines, and most of all the barley itself has to be dry enough to harvest. Continue reading...
This Autumn the weather hasn't been particularly great and most days had rain resulting in too damp barley. This all changed last Sunday when we had a fabulous day with excellent drying conditions. Immediately the harvesting combines, around eight of them, went out and started the barley harvest on Islay.
Since Sunday many tractors and lorries are bringing the harvested barley to Andrew Wood's company at Octofad Farm, near Nerabus, where it will be stored and dried further, using a special drying machine. With the rain arriving tonight everyone will do their best to harvest as much of the barley as possible and as I write this post, 8pm, the tractors are still passing our cottage to pick up the barley from the fields and deliver them to Octofad. It has been a hectic three days for them and hopefully they will get the remaining fields harvested in time as well.
Barley harvest at Octomore Farm near Port Charlotte for Bruichladdich Distillery