Extensive website emphasising the progressive spirit of the distillery. There's plenty on history too, plus of course the whisky section. Then there's the webcams, which brought the distillery to the attention of the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency in 2003.
Bruichladdich has a Visitor Centre and is open for visitors Monday to Saturday throughout the year. Tours times vary due to the time of year (see website for details). Offering Sunday tours for the first time from Easter to October 2013, presumably this means the shop will be open on Sundays, but the website doesn't give times yet.
Basic tours cost £5 and end with a dram of Bruichladdich - optional add on for 10.30 and 14.00 tours warehouse tasting - £25 for three cask samples and a glass (can also be booked without the tour). Tour price redeemable against a bottle of whisky (or gin!!)
Bruichladdich was established by three brothers from Glasgow who already had two other (long gone) distilleries. It was Islay's first purpose built distillery - the others had evolved out of farms, was built on a slight slope to aid the production process. And it was built to last - a lot of the equipment used today is the original installed 132 years ago - including the Mash Tun, 2 of the Washbacks and one of the spirit stills.
It remained in the family until the death of the last of the brothers in 1937, when it was sold to Train & McIntyre, who also owned Ben Nevis, Benromach, Glenesk, Glenkinchie, Glenury Royal & Lochside. In 1938 their operations transferrd to Associated Scottish Distillers. It went through a few other owners until being acquired by Invergordon Distillers in 1968, who in turn were bought by Whyte & Mackay in 1993. Invergordon had increased the number of stills to 4 in 1975.
Bruichladdich was bought from Whyte & Mackay in 2000 for £6.5m, it remained independent for only 12 years before being purchased by Remy Cointreau for £56m.
Whilst independent it was taken out of mothballs and became famous for many innovations, and a massive number of bottlings the production of peated varieties (Port Charlotte and Octomore), and a quadruple distilled malt (X4). The distillery also distils gin (The Botanist) using the Lomond still previously installed at Inverleven distillery. It is one of the very few distilleries with a bottling plant on site. A spring on the Octomore farm is used for reducing the whisky to 46% in the bottling hall - this is clear water unlike the peaty brown water used for distillation.
Bruichladdich was the most westerly distillery in Scotland until the opening of Kilchoman in 2005.
It remains to be seen how long the independent spirit of the distillery, and the ancient equipment and working methods remain now that Bruichladdich has been bought by a large international drinks company.
Malt Madness, Undiscovered Scotland, Wikipedia, WhiskyMerchants.co.uk
The TWE page has a mass of facts about the Distillery, even the Manager's inside leg measurement (this is Bruichladdich, I'm not kidding).
Click the map's Google logo to go to Google Maps - for Directions, Street View etc.
Open Cycle Map Bing Map Nearby: Bunnahabhain Kilchoman Bowmore
Bruichladdich Distillery is on the Rhinns of Islay, two miles north of Port Charlotte on the A847 - opposite Bowmore across Loch Indaal.
Islay is served by CalMac from Kennacraig Winter Summer). Getting to Kennacraig? - see main Islay page.
Bruichladdich's range used to be enormous, but they do seem to have cut back recently. Bruichladdich itself comes in 10yo, 16yo and 22yo expressions, plus numerous special bottlings and finishes. Port Charlotte and Octomore 10 year-olds have now been released, and the X4+3 is the first release of the quadruple distillation as a whisky. They have also produced Organic and Bere Barley versions as well as an Islay Barley release - not quite the all at the distillery achievement of Kilchoman, but the full process takes place on Islay. Bruichladdich bottles at 46% or higher and does not chill filter its whisky.100% of Bruichladdich's current production is for single malt whisky.
Several independent bottles available.
LFW, RMW, TWE, Port Charlotte: TWE, Octomore: TWE
Islay Cycles 07760 196592
Run from the Port Ellen Boatyard in the Business Park (behind the White Hart Hotel). Not a shop as such, but hire, sales, accessories and repairs available - see website/ring for further details.
Brian Palmer describes himself as "the only cycle repairer and spare parts person in Bowmore", and can be contacted via Catherine MacTaggart who hires bikes from Bowmore Post Office (01496 810366).
Bike Hire in Port Charlotte from 01496 850488.
Nearest Cycle Shops Lochgilphead (18 miles from Kennacraig), Oban
Nevis Cycles 87 George Street, Oban 01631 566033
David Graham 13-15 Combie Street, Oban 01631 562069
Crinan Cycles 34 Argyll Street, Lochgilphead 01546 603511
Photos on this page were taken by me. Click on photo to enlarge. Full size versions of all my photos of Bruichladdich Distillery are available on Flickr.