The background to this review actually dates back to (precisely) 13th August 2001. My wife and I visited Islay and went into Bruichladdich just after it had been bought by Mark Reyneir and Jim McEwan.
After introductions, Jim and others showed us around the old distillery which was, at that time, a bit of a shell. Plans were in place to make it operational, however, and Jim's enthusiastic explanations of what was scheduled to happen left us in no doubt that it would all happen as planned.
I had "followed" Jim's progress from Bowmore, which I still drink. Bruichladdich was a new venture but with the advantage of a spirited (pardon the pun) team. After purchasing a Valinch, which Jim was kind enough to sign in gold ink, I was afforded a taste of some of the older product as well as the water (which my wife loved).
Delighted with our experience, it would not be until 2005 that we would again visit Islay. We had been quite industrious ourselves during that period, and attended Islay with our amazingly beautiful twin girls, aged just under a year old. By this time, Bruichladdich was in full flow, producing some amazing whisky. On of the fantastic ladies from Bruichladdich was kind enough to let us sit our daughters on a barrel in the shop and we took some memorable snaps.
In 2012 we went back to Islay and visited Bruichladdich again. I bought bottle 399 of the 400 available from a barrel into a Valinch. Unfortunately Jim was on vacation so my opportunity to get a second signature was not available. A few days later, it was confirmed that Pernod Ricard ad bought Bruichladdich.
In 2013 we went back to Islay (we love the place especially Kilchoman Beach). We visited Bruichladdich briefly but our daughters (now 8 years old) were keen to visit the beach, so the visit was brief indeed! I was hoping to see and talk with some of the staff I had come to know, and Jim was on his lunch. What can I say? Bruichladdich was created by real people and real people still operate it. The belief in independence seems to be prevalent despite the Pernod Ricard purchase; this is crucial to the existence and continued growth of Bruichladdich.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.