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Organic Development for Islay Distiller

The first organic Islay single malt whisky certified by the BioDynamic Agricultural Association has been released to coincide with the opening of a new island barley facility for farmers and Bruichladdich distillery.

The whisky is released as the Hebridean island’s first grain facility opens  - in time for this year’s barley harvest.

The Bruichladdich distillery describes its new organic whisky to be “the ultimate ‘single’, single malt (single farm, harvest, variety and vintage) triple-distilled from Chalice barley grown by William Rose at Culblair in summer of 2003.

This first organic bottling represents the direction Bruichladdich has been heading since it was reopened in 2001 – Scottish provenance, quality, variety and traceability.

Duncan McGillivray, manager of the privately-owned distillery, said: “it’s the way is used to be - ultimate authenticity - real people, real places, real character. That’s what we’re about”. All Bruichladdich whisky is naturally bottled at the distillery in the island’s only bottling hall at 46% abv with Islay spring water – chill-filtration and colouring-free.

The Octofad facility (weighbridge, unloading area, drying house and storage) means each of the 15 Islay farm’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 ‘green’ barley to the maltings at Bairds, and returning with one load of ‘malted’ barley means less of a footprint.

“We’re very proud; it’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,” says McGillivray.

15,000 bottles of the Bruichladdich 2003 “Culblair Farm” edition have been released. Packaged in the distillery's distictively shaped bottle which is coated and directly printed with an image of Brighde, the Gaelic goddess of fertility and harverst, and housed in a presentation tin container. UK Retail price £39.

All Bruichladdich’s barley is Scottish grown, with 50% produced on the island at 15 farms and 50% organically grown on another 8 farms.

1 September 2009 - Felicity Murray