The first rye whisky to be classed as an Islay Single Grain Scotch Whisky has been launched by Bruichladdich Distillery.
Made primarily from locally grown Islay rye, this is a first for both the distillery and the Hebridean island of Islay.
It forms part of the Bruichladdich Project series, The Regeneration Project, born not out of commercial need but the company’s hopes to combat the growing cost of agro-chemicals, avoid monoculture, reduce input and diversify crops.
As such, Bruichladdich’s Production Director Allan Logan and long-standing farming partner Andrew Jones decided to add rye to the rotation, back in 2016.
Rye has the ability to sequester excess soil nitrate and its fibrous root system increases soil drainage, helping to conserve moisture. Not only does this improve soil health, but it reduces costs for the farmer by being less reliant on artificial pesticides and fertilisers.
With no market, rye has never been commercially grown in Islay before. But keen to support its farming partner, Bruichladdich agreed to purchase Andrew’s entire crop if he was going to trial the alternative grain – and turn it into whisky.
Commenting on the launch, Douglas Taylor, CEO at Bruichladdich Distillery, said: “As a whisky distillery we are accountable for our impact from the ground up, and that starts with understanding where our essential raw ingredients come from, and how they are grown.
“We learned that rye is a hugely beneficial rotational crop which not only reduces the need for artificial input but improves soil health and structure – which matters.
“But with no market for Scottish grown rye, it begs the question – why would a farmer grow it? Well, we could buy it – and create a delicious whisky. All while supporting our vital farming partners, helping the environment and promoting soil health.
“Pursuing flavour while reducing our impact, The Regeneration Project is the start of something much bigger than whisky.”
Aiming to create the world’s most thought-provoking spirits, the latest innovation from Bruichladdich Distillery is an example of how regenerative agricultural practices can positively impact both the planet and the flavour of whisky.
With sustainability at the forefront, The Regeneration Project is testament to the distillery’s vision to use its business as a force for good.
In May 2020 Bruichladdich became the first Scotch whisky and gin distillery in Europe to become B Corp certified.
As the subject of climate change and support of the farming industry becomes more prominent, regenerative agriculture has the power to play a significant role in the sustainability of Scotch whisky and the soil health of its farming partners
The Regeneration Project is part of a small batch of 1,800 bottles. Priced at £125.00 it is available online at www.bruichladdich.com.
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