Bruichladdich to make gin

Islay: Bruichladdich distillery has started to produce gin. The Islay distillery, usually associated with peaty whisky, began making its first batch of gin today (3 August).

The gin, which is yet to be named, contains 30 botanicals - 21 Islay and 9 regular like coriander and juniper. The Islay botanicals include Angelica, Bog Myrtle, sweet Lady’s Bedstraw, Mace and Broom Flower.

Botanicals from further a field include citrus and coriander.

Bruichladdich chief executive Mark Reynier said the company’s new-found ability to produce gin is down to the purchase of an old still.

He said: “We found an old, unique still that was designed in 1955 to produce various different effects via its interchangeable neck. It’s called a Lomond still.”

Reynier said everything we know about making whisky, comes from ‘usquebaugh’.

“This is the clear spirit people were making when they were distilling illicitly in the hills. It wasn’t very pleasant and so they flavoured it with whatever they could find.

“We found a recipe from 1715 that includes Mace, Cloves and Cinnamon. It’s very similar to what you find it gin.”

Bruichladdich has been working with a local botanist called Dr Galliver to source botanicals from Islay. The first version, which is expected to be ready by September, will include the botanicals previously listed but the gin is to be a seasonal product and the next batch will include botanicals available during the season it is produced.

The gin is to be bottled at 46% and Reynier said it is to retail for around £26.

You can read more about it on the company's blog