Bruichladdich launches new vintages as part of Barley Exploration series
Bruichladdich Distillery has launched the next single malt vintages in its unpeated ‘Barley Exploration’ range; Bruichladdich Organic Barley 2011 and Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2012. The new launches join the already released Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2013, completing the 2022 series.
Since its resurrection in 2001, Bruichladdich Distillery has pioneered the concept of terroir in the whisky industry. A term most commonly associated with the wine world, terroir focuses on re-connecting the liquid in the glass back to its raw ingredients – from the soil it was grown in, to the climate it was exposed to.
With a ‘land to dram’ mentality, the Barley Exploration series amplifies Bruichladdich’s values around total traceability and provenance. The trio of whiskies explore the flavour impact of where, what and how barley – the essential raw ingredient – is grown, evoking a true sense of place.
Head Distiller, Adam Hannett, said: “Our Barley Exploration series originally began in pursuit of flavour, but it has grown into so much more. Barley is integral to the whisky making process and we have subsequently become fascinated with the growing process, heritage grains and natural crops – and how every aspect can elevate the drinking experience.
“It is also an opportunity for us to support the farmers who grow for us. By partnering with them we can truly push the boundaries of what we can achieve with barley, discovering new flavours and resurrecting long forgotten ones. Ultimately, it’s about reconnecting our whisky with its vital raw ingredient.”
Made with 100% Scottish Barley, Bruichladdich Organic Barley 2011 is an example of a single malt working in harmony with nature. Using barley cultivated at Mid Coul farm in Inverness, Scotland, the raw ingredient is farmed without the use of artificial fertilisers or pesticides and supports the soil it was grown in.
Benefiting from a slow distillation and matured solely on Islay, on the nose there are notes of Crème Brulé, sweet cantaloupe, water mint and lemon rind. Hints of toasted oak, barley flour, creamy vanilla fudge and ripe pear can be detected on the palate, before moving to a luxurious finish of golden syrup with a subtle maritime sea breeze.
Bere barley is one of the most fascinating grains still cultivated today, with this ancient grain dating back to the dawn of Scottish agriculture – around 4,500 years ago. In the pursuit of flavour and pushing the boundaries of modern farming practices, the distillery has been working with the University of the Highland’s and Island’s Agronomy Institute since 2005 to reintroduce Bere barley to the whisky industry, with Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2012 single malt a testament to this complex cereal.
Matured for ten years in first fill ex-bourbon casks, zesty lime, creamy vanilla, green apples and honeysuckle can be detected on the nose. On the palate, distinct cereal notes give way to apple crumble and warm scones, with hints of stoned fruits and smooth honey – before a rich finish of gingerbread, milk chocolate and marzipan.
Completing the Barley Exploration series is Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2013, distilled using barley grown solely on Islay. With uber provenance and total traceability, the barley has been grown on seven different local farms and is a true expression of the island.
The spirit has been matured in a mix of first fill American and second fill European oak casks, with a harmonious balance between oak and barley. Delicate cereal notes open into honeyed porridge and lemon meringue pie, before a long and gentle finish with hints of sweet apricot jam and smooth melted fudge.
Bruichladdich Organic Barley 2011, Bere Barley 2012 and Islay Barley 2013 are available to buy now with prices starting from £65. The Barley Exploration series can be purchased at selected specialist whisky retailers.