Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2014, Organic Barley 2012 and Bere Barley 2013 complete the 2023 single malt range, celebrating whisky’s essential raw ingredient
Bruichladdich Distillery has today, Wednesday 18th October, launched the next single malt vintages in its unpeated Barley Exploration series; Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2014, Bruichladdich Organic Barley 2012 and Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2013.
Since its resurrection in 2001, Bruichladdich Distillery has pioneered the concept of terroir in the whisky industry. A term most associated with the wine world, terroir focuses on re-connecting the liquid in the glass back to its raw ingredients. Applying the concept to barley, Bruichladdich explore how a combination of natural factors – including soil, climate, and sunlight – impact the grain and, in turn, have an influence on the overall drinking experience.
What initially began in pursuit of extraordinary flavour, Bruichladdich’s Barley Exploration series continues to evolve year on year and seeks to reconnect whisky with its essential raw ingredient.
“Barley is the main ingredient of single malt Scotch whisky, yet there is no law that states that it must be grown and harvested in Scotland,” says Adam Hannett, Head Distiller at Bruichladdich Distillery. “As a consequence, barley is widely treated as a commodity – often imported from outside the country and bought at the lowest price for the greatest yield.
“At Bruichladdich, we trace our barley from farm to glass – seeking flavour, not yield. We are acutely aware of our part in the wider agricultural industry and our responsibility to not only support the farmers who grow our vital raw ingredient, but also promote soil health and nurture the land.
“Our Barley Exploration series looks at the impact different barley varietals and growing methods have on the final flavour of our spirit. Beyond the pursuit of flavour alone, the latest vintages celebrate our commitment to our farming partners, as well as our values around total traceability, provenance, and the purest expression of terroir.”
Championing high provenance, showcasing the flavour potential of sustainable farming, and rediscovering ancient varietals and long-forgotten flavours, the trio of whiskies – Islay Barley 2014, The Organic 2012 and Bere Barley 2013 – put barley at the forefront.
First in the Barley Exploration series is Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2014, distilled using barley grown solely on Islay. A true celebration of place and provenance, the latest vintage is distilled from barley grown on eight local farms, all within an 11-mile radius of the distillery.
Fully traceable from farm to glass, Islay Barley 2014 has been matured in a combination of first fill bourbon casks, sherry butts and second fill wine casks, balancing the influence of the oak with the locally grown barley. The result is a cereal forward single malt with notes of apricot and peach, malty digestive biscuit, and a hint of fresh grass. A subtle maritime note also lingers, nodding to the whisky’s all Islay harvest, distillation, and maturation.
Made with 100% Scottish barley, Bruichladdich Organic Barley 2012 is an example of a single malt working in harmony with the land. Using barley grown and harvested at Mid Coul farm in Inverness, Scotland, the raw ingredient is sustainably farmed without the use of agro-chemicals, fertilisers or pesticides and supports the soil it was grown in.
With no artificial input, the barley grown for The Organic 2012 is the purest expression of its terroir. Benefiting from a slow distillation and matured exclusively on Islay, the latest vintage showcases the clarity of flavour from the barley with notes of creamy fudge, honeyed citrus and subtle spice – with a beautifully rounded mouthfeel.
Dating back to the dawn of Scottish agriculture, Bere barley is one of the most fascinating and genetically diverse grains still cultivated today. As well as having a unique flavour, growing the ancient strain builds resilience and adds variety into barley growing, with the distillery recognising that genetic diversity is crucial to future proofing land management.
Bruichladdich 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 2013 a testament to this complex cereal. Matured in a combination of first fill bourbon barrels and second fill Pauillac wine casks, the single malt delicately balances the malty sweetness of the Bere barley with the oak, with hints of fresh green fruits and lightly spiced gingerbread.
In a bid to reduce packaging and waste, the latest Barley Exploration single malts are available in Bruichladdich’s brand new proprietary bottle. Designed with sustainability at the forefront, the B Corp distillery has eliminated unnecessary secondary packaging across the Barley Exploration range. The bottle is also lighter in weight, uses recycled glass content and its optimised glass structure makes for more effective transportation, meaning more bottles per pallet in and out of the Islay based distillery.
The Barley Exploration series is available to buy now. Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2014 is priced at £70, The Organic 2012 is priced at £85 and Bere Barley 2013 is priced at £100.
The Barley Exploration series can be purchased online at bruichladdich.com or at selected specialist whisky retailers.
For more information visit bruichladdich.com.