THE BRUICHLADDICH DISTILLERY. I am really pleased with the pingback from a distillery on the Isle of Islay. Andrew Jefford in his book PEAT SMOKE AND SPIRIT says that Bruichladdich is pronounced Bruch-LADDY “with a susurrant ‘ch’ as in ‘loch'”. Bruichladdich means “slope of the shore”. The distillery, although having a long history starting in 1881, fell on hard times and operated only intermittently during stretches in the 1980’s and the 1990’s. It got a new lease on life in 2001, at which time the distillery created as one of its products a whisky with an extreme peating level. In periods when the distillery had been operating mainly for the American market, which at the time had a strong preference for light blends, the peat level was 3 to 5 ppm (parts per million phenols). The new product, called Octomore, reached a peat level of 29.6 ppm in 2002 and 46.4 in 2003. Jefffords says: “…the 2003 run of octomore seems likely to represent an altogether new level of peatiness for modern malt whisky.”

The Jeffords book was published when the 2002 run of Octomore had not yet been “within a blown kiss of a cask”, but Jeffords said that it then had notes of treacle and toffee and predicted that “those who were expecting ‘the peatiest whiskey in the world’ to be a bruiser; a heavyweight; a kind of hairy, eye-rolling, dirk-hurling cousin to Laphroaig” would be disappointed.

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