I am not going to say that the release of the first organic Islay single malt whisky is THE most important Islay whisky news of 2009 but it's very important nevertheless. Being a great supporter and user of organic food myself you can imagine that the "organic related" press releases from Bruichladdich Distillery made a great impression when it landed in my mailbox. The press release announced the first ever organic Islay single malt, which has been released by Bruichladdich Distillery. The only thing that wasn't really clear to me is the barley. Has it been grown organically, without pesticides etc, like organic food supposed to be grown? Wikipedia has the following on organic food production: "Under organic production, the use of conventional non-organic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides is greatly restricted and saved as a last resort. In most countries, organic produce may not be genetically modified." I assume though that the barley has been organically produced given the fact that the organic whisky is 100% certified by the BioDynamic Agricultural Association. Continue reading......
According to Bruichladdich Distillery this is the ultimate 'single', single malt (single farm, harvest, variety and vintage) distilled from Chalice barley grown by William Rose at Culblair in summer of 2003. This first organic bottling represents the direction Bruichladdich has been going since it was reopened in 2001. Unparalleled Scottish provenance, quality, variety and traceability. Duncan McGillivray, manager of the privately-owned distillery, said: 'itâ€™s the way is used to be - ultimate authenticity - real people, real places, real character. Thatâ€™s what weâ€™re about.' 'Weâ€™re very proud; itâ€™s the culmination of a great team effort. People thought we were mad, perhaps we are, but the taste makes it all worth while; the proof is in the pudding.' All Bruichladdich whisky is naturally bottled at the distillery in the islandâ€™s only bottling hall at 46% alc/vol with Islay spring water â€“ chill-filtration and colouring-free. Bruichladdich released 15,000 bottles of the Bruichladdich 2003 'Culblair Farm' edition with a UK Retail price of Â£39.
Together with the introduction of the organic whisky Bruichladdich opened a new barley facility for farmers and the distillery. The Octofad facility (weighbridge, unloading area, drying house and storage) means each of the 15 Islay farmâ€™s harvests can be kept separate until ready for malting later in the year. 'Being able to dry our barley 'off the field' makes harvesting logistics less frantic, less risky and more efficient. With the current poor weather it is not a moment too soon' 'Environmentally too, by trucking one load of â€˜greenâ€™ barley to the maltings at Bairds, and returning with one load of â€˜maltedâ€™ barley means less of a footprint.'
Around the same time that the organic whisky was introduced Bruichladdich released the third edition infinity. Bruichladdich: Infinity was created to showcase the great length of palate associated with Bruichladdich. This bottling, the third in the series, makes the ideal digestif. Jim McEwan, Bruichladdichâ€™s head distiller, started his whisky career 45 years ago as a cooper rising to be master of that trade; he knows all there is to know about casks. That knowledge, together with his renown distilling experience, has led to the creation of Infinity 3, from casks specifically chosen out of over 35,000 maturing in our warehouses. Quercus Alba, better known as American oak, is the standard for Bourbon production then whisky aging. But unusually, in this case, the association is not US but entirely with Spain.
Only Spanish grown Quercus Alba - refill Sherry and Ribero (tempranillo) casks - were used for this multi-vintage Bruichladdich, drawn from several ages, styles and peat levels. The peatiness has been upped slightly over the two original bottlings, stocks of which are now exhausted. This is a general release, stocks are expected to last until 2011/12. The brief for this decidedly personal cuvÃ©e was to produce a complex, multi-layered malt with a provocatively infinite finish: the ideal digestif dram - mellow, rich, spice and fruit. Infinity is available worldwide and bottled at 50% alc.vol. The current stock is expected to last until 2011/2012.