The distillery where The Botanist is made opened in 1881. It was built around a central courtyard by 3 progressive brothers from a Scottish distilling dynasty, the Harvey’s. The site has good access – being on the western shore of a large sea loch, Loch Indaal.
Historically, fuel and grain could come in, and barrels of whisky could go out, by ship. Connections by land are also good; it is on the roadside of a 14.7 mile Thomas Telford route through the Rhinns of Islay, laid down in the early decades of the 19th century. The village of Bruichladdich, meaning “Brae by the shore” grew ribbon-style on the landward side of the road, with the handsome 3 storey buildings of the distillery at its centre.
Bruichladdich Distillery went through several closures and takeovers during its first 120 years. But since 2001 it has seen stability, investment, and strong community-based growth. The company is driven by an ideal of high provenance spirits, of connection between the land and the liquid that ends up in a glass, and the value that is added by the people here behind the scenes.
Picture this. Inside the distillery, on a typical day, 77 people are busy within the gates with the common goal of bringing a taste of Islay out to the world. On one side of the courtyard we have the stillhouse, opposite that the bottling hall, up at the back the warehouse storage and engineers’ workshop, down at the seafront the shop, the logistics department, and the offices.