THE island of Islay has lost a one of its most recognised icons.
The much loved and photographed copper pot still that has stood outside Bruichladdich for the past decade or so has gone.
The still had become a landmark for visitors to the remote Hebridean whisky distillery.
But it has gone for the best of all reasons – because it is to be brought back to life again.
Along with another surplus still that was being stored in the adjacent village of Port Charlotte, the giant vessel is en-route to the coppersmiths to be refurbished before being transferred to Waterford in Ireland where it will provide whisky entrepreneur, Mark Reynier, with an interim solution for a new still house.
Reynier and his partners have purchased an old Guinness brewery in the Irish city.
This already holds much of what is required to distil whisky – but, of course, currently does not have a still house or distillation equipment.
Reynier was the driving force behind the private consortium who purchased Bruichladdich in 2000 and managing director until its sale to Remy Cointreau in 2012.
Says a spokesperson: “The success of the Scotch whisky industry in recent years has resulted in unprecedented demand for copper pot stills and there is a waiting list of several years for new ones. These stills that are now heading for Ireland had arrived on Islay back in 2005.
“They were part of the equipment Bruichladdich purchased when Inverleven Distillery in Dumbarton was being broken up. The mass of pipes, tanks, pumps and valves was to prove invaluable in refurbishing the old Victorian plant at Bruichladdich on a very tight budget.”
Bruichladdich CEO, Simon Coughlin, says: “We are delighted to be able to help Mark with an interim solution until his new stills are ready.
“There will of course be a touch of sadness at the departure of what became an iconic symbol of the renaissance of Bruichladdich, but it is going to a good home and we hope that it helps in getting Mark’s new Irish whiskey project into production sooner than would otherwise be the case.
“We now have the enjoyable task of deciding what to do to replace it.”
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Contact: Carl Reavey