|Mill and transport|
The background of Bruichladdich was given. How it was set up by the Harvey brothers back in 1881. How the slope of the hill was used in order to use the natural flow of water through the buildings. The mill for the barley is the original one (minus spare parts and repairs). The steam engine that powered the belt was replaced by an electric motor, but other than that the whole place is original. I'm sure some of the wooden parts have been replace over the years but all in all it looks all very 1881-ish. Very cool indeed.
|Victorian looking driver belt|
Anyway, the flour/grist is moved to a container where it is contained until the container is emptied in the mash tun. I tried making another "contained" reference here by but I can't. Sorry.
Moving to the mash tun we learn that the cast iron mash tun is still in use even though modern regulations prescribe a stainless steal one. The mash tun predates the regulation. Hell it predates the invention of stainless steel! I wanted to ask of the rathe brown rusty looking cask iron is not a Health risk, but i didn't. It looked beyond further oxidation so I'm sure it's inert.
The blender was damaged during a particularly firm mash. It was out of commission for a lengthy time. The parts that are broken were replaced. This is where the legislation kicks in because the new parts do look rather stainless steel like. As an engineer I wanted to ask why the new parts were a round turned part and not milled in an square shape like the old ones. The fluid dynamics around a round part would be rather different to a square section. Wouldn't it adjust the blending function? I didn't ask. I'm sure it has something to do with available machines on Islay or just plain cost driven. I was pretty sure the tour guide would not know. Plus the answer is not important.
|Friend at the wash-backs|
|looking down the side of a wash-back|
I cannot remember if I had the same reaction to the beer like smell that I got at Ardbeg. I'm sure it had. I'm sure it had fruity malty cereal banana beer-like notes. I just can't remember as I am writing this weeks later (November 10th). Now I need to redo the tour and make notes! Darn!!
We were asked if anyone would have a taste. Are you kidding!? Bottle the stuff and sell it!! It's amazing tasting brew!! After the tour-guide put it down I snuck over and helped myself to another drink. Savouring the taste and smell as much as I could. Closing my eyes to lock out unneeded sensory input. Shame I can't remember! Me dork!
Looking at the still room we could see a familiar face. It was the Swedish tour guide Mia and her group. We waved.
The Gin made at Bruichladdich is called "the botanist". All herbs that go into the Gin are on the wall on a big placard. We are told that when Jim McEwan made this Gin he was told that the maximum of herbs would should needs to be 5 maximum. So he put in 22. I have never took the time to understand Gin making but I will.
The process of whisky making was explained. How multiple distillations are sorted by different temperatures, cuts etc. I choose not to go into that to deeply since it's all very well documented on this Bruichladdich webpage https://www.bruichladdich.com/article/how-bruichladdich-islay-single-malt-scotch-whisky-made
|reflection of me in the wash-still|
|Selfie at the spirit safe.|
|Making a cut|
|Meeting a maker|
That's for the next blog!