The first home grown whisky for a century was on sale at The Islay Whisky Festival 2010.
Sunday 23rd May, Bruichladdich Day, saw the inaugural bottling of an Islay single malt made entirely from Islay grown barley.
Chalice barley, harvested in September 2004, was grown less than 1 mile from the distillery on the ideally exposed, south-east facing slopes of Kentraw, overlooking Loch Indaal.
The pebble-rich soil, consisting of raised marine deposits, had not been cultivated for at least a decade so was naturally fertile.
The whisky was distilled three months later, matured for six years in refill sherry butts, before hand-bottling by visitors to the distillery last Sunday.
This cask-strength bottling (57% ABV), part of the Bruichladdich ‘Valinch’ series, can only be purchased at the distillery – in person.
Distillery manager, Duncan MacGillivray, said: “It is our aim and our passion to source as much of our raw ingredients from Islay itself. We are the only distillery to use 100% Scottish and Islay barley.”
“For the 2009 harvest around 50% of our needs were grown on Islay with another 40% organically grown on the mainland.”
“Richard Macaire, laird of Foreland and Kentraw, was the first to respond to our Islay grown challenge. Sadly he died last month so with this festival bottling we remember him as a shareholder, partner and friend.”
While still youthful and high strength, this spirit shows a remarkable maturity, definition of character and malty flavour. It demonstrates precisely why Islay became so famous for ‘single malt scotch whisky’.