Hebridean Distillery Unveils Its First Biodynamic Whisky

Since Bruichladdich Distillery reopened its doors in 2001, its distillers have taken inspiration from the wine world and the belief that terroir can exist in whisky. The distillery has since produced several award-winning Scottish malts.

Now, Bruichladdich’s latest endeavour, “The Biodynamic Project”, has been released, marking the distilleries first-ever biodynamic Scotch whisky.

This biodynamic spirit was distilled in 2011 from a single farm and matured on the island of Islay for ten years. The expression came straight from the sample room of Adam Hannett, Head Distiller, and was bottled under the Bruichladdich Distillery ‘Projects’ moniker.

bruichladdich distillery

Credit: Martin M303 / Shutterstock.com

Yatesbury House Farm, near Wiltshire in England, grows all the distilleries biodynamic barley. The use of barley grown outside of Scotland is unique for Bruichladdich; their Port Charlotte and Octomore single malts are made with 100% Scottish barley.

Biodynamic methods are similar to organic farming; they don’t use chemical fertilisers or pesticides. The technique also strengthens plants to ward off disease and enlivens the soil through biodynamic measures. 

Many winegrowers apply biodynamic farming principles to look after their soil, believing that these measures improve the quality of the raw ingredient, in turn, improving the wine’s flavour. 

Recently farmer Dr Richard Gantlett conducted a carbon audit at Yatesbury House farm, discovering that the farm sequestered ten times more carbon than it emitted. 

The distillers at Bruichladdich believe that supporting crops from this carbon positive farm evidences how the whisky industry can put the planet at the centre of producing high-quality food and drink by working directly with growers. In addition, Bruichladdich views the production of biodynamic whisky as a critical step towards developing climate change solutions and supporting more regenerative agricultural systems. 

In a prepared statement, Hannett said:

“When we started distilling our Organic, Islay-grown and Bere barley expressions, it was driven by the curiosity to seek new and diverse flavours in Scotch whisky.

“We approached Richard and asked him to certify biodynamically with that same flavour mission in mind. Many years on, we are delighted to know the positive impact these grains have on the environment. They have been crucial to us further examining what crops we purchase and how they play a part in supporting regenerative agriculture.”

From the moment the biodynamic whisky was first distilled through to maturation, Hannett declared its flavour as top-notch: “There is a wonderful elevation of the fruity character of Bruichladdich with the biodynamic malt. Apple and pear notes on the spirit are intensified, and with a little water, the floral notes burst through, with lots of lilac, honeysuckle and rose. Texturally, there is an extra depth which carries the flavours beautifully.”

You can purchase Bruichladdich Distillery’s The Biodynamic Project Whisky here. The distillery has produced 5,000 bottles at a suggested retail price of £100.

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