Since its creation in 1881, Bruichladdich distillery has led a chequered, almost fated life. Family feuds, recessions, industry cartels, deception, world wars and sheer bad luck all took their toll, and in many ways it’s a miracle that the distillery is still here today. In 1994 Bruichladdich was bought by Jim Beam Brands and finally closed down, its staff made redundant – on an island not noted for its employment opportunities – and just two men kept on to rattle the locks. Budgie & John were the night watchmen during that closed phase.
This fascinating little distillery has always been at the heart of the community on the Rhinns of Islay. Today, Bruichladdich is the biggest private employer on the island and they pride theirselves in creating jobs that can keep young Ilich on the island –Distillery Manager, Allan, is one of the youngest in the Scotch whisky industry.