Derzeit existieren aus meiner Sicht 7 verschiedene Serien von Valinches:

 

Serie 1: Alles begann am 29.05.2001 mit den beiden Valinches "I was there" (Fässer 5079 und 5081). Beide wurden 1970 destilliert und waren anlässlich der Neueröffnung der Brennerei vor Ort käuflich zu erwerben. Bruichladdich Valinches mit unterschiedlichsten Labels gab es bis Ende 2013. Bei fast all diesen Valinches handelt es sich um leicht getorfte Bruichladdichs, da der Whisky vor der Schließung 1994 destilliert wurde und man bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt grundsätzlich mit bis zu 15 ppm torfte. Port Charlotte Valinches gab es bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt nur zwei Mal (Siehe Serie 3) ...

 

Serie 2: ... Eine weitere Ausnahme bildete eine kleine Bloodtub-Serie, die anlässlich des Fèis Ìle am 29.05.2005 im distillery shop erhältlich war. An diesem Tag gab es 4 kleine Fässer im Shop: 1991er Ardbeg, 1988 Laphroaig, 1993 Caol Ila und einen 1993 Cooley ...

 

Serie 3: … Im Dezember 2011 kam mit dem Prediction der erste Port Charlotte und damit der erste getorfte reguläre Valinch in den shop. Es gab zwar zum Fèis Ìle 2007 den First Cut, aber auch wenn er in einer Valinch Flasche daher kam, war er mit seinen 950 Flaschen aus Bourbon Fässern kein Single Cask und damit passt er nicht in die reguläre Reihe dieser Abfüllungen ...

 

Serie 4: … im November 2013 gab es dann den ersten Crew Valinch. Die erste Abfüllung zeigt Allan Logan. Meiner Kenntnis nach, war damals nicht angedacht, diese Serie mit allen Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern dauerhaft weiterzuführen. Heute (Januar 2020) sind wir mit Crew Valinch 50 auf dem besten Wege doch alle Menschen hinter Bruichladdich auf Valinches verewigt zu sehen.

Ich finde es klasse! Vor Ort erkennt man viele Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter sofort und kann sich so besser die Arbeit in der Whiskyherstellung vorstellen und kommt vor allem schnell mal ins persönliche Gespräch. Außerdem haben diese Flaschenlabel viel mit Wertschätzung gegenüber den Menschen zu tun, die dort tagtäglich arbeiten und ich gebe zu: das gefällt mir. Der Crew Valinch 03 - Tina Mackinnon ist übrigens (bislang) der einzige Port Charlotte in dieser Serie ...

 

Serie 5: … im November 2014 startete dann die erste eigenständige Port Charlotte Serie. Mit der Bezeichnung Cask Exploration kamen bis Mai 2018 insgesamt 21 Valinches in dieser Reihe auf den Markt. Alle Flaschen dieser Serie wurden durchnummeriert und um eine gälische Bezeichnung ergänzt ...

 

Serie 6: … nach dem Feis lle 2018 änderte sich dann das Flaschendesign der Port Charlotte Valinches. Seit diesem Zeitpunkt sind sie quasi 0,5 Liter große Miniaturausgaben der regulären grünen Port Charlotte Flaschen, die einige Monate vorher im neuen Flaschendesign auf den regulären Markt kamen. Es änderte sich auch die Bezeichnung und aus der „Cask Exploration“ Serie wurde die „Distillery Valinch“ Serie. Ab diesem Zeitpunkt entfielen zudem die gälischen Bezeichnungen und man führt seitdem die Herkunft der Fässer und das Destillationsjahr auf.

 

Serie 7: … die letzte Serie ist keine richtige Reihe. Vielmehr handelt es sich um Valinches, die jeweils zum Feis Ile in der Brennerei verkauft werden. Teilweise handelt es sich um Single Casks, wie dem 2019er Fèis ìle Valinch aus einem Sherry Fass. Teilweise handelt es sich aber auch um Single Malts aus mehreren Fässern, wie dem High Noon, der zum Fèis ìle 2015 zusammen mit zwei weiteren Abfüllungen herausgebrachte wurde. Gemeinsam haben alle Flaschen, dass die Flaschenform und die Flaschengröße mit 0,5 Litern identisch ist. Anmerken muss man allerdings, dass all diese Abfüllungen vor Ort stets bereits abgefüllt waren und man sie entgegen der üblichen Möglichkeit bei den Valinches nie persönlich aus einem Fass abfüllen konnte.







Unofficial stories ...

by Roddy MacEachern and a few additional infos by Jens Freymuth :-)


=> If you have more or other informations about labels, please don’t hesitate and send me a message (via Facebook Bruich/LADDICH-O/ldenburg or mail laddienerd@gmx.de).



GHOST SHIP

Released: 30/03/07 - 350 bottles

 

Nerd Info: The Ghost Ship is the oil tanker (then the ‘Keewhit’) that comes into Bruichladdich Pier to re-fill the Gleaner Oil Depot in Bruichladdich. Back in 2007 the National Media reported that an “Oil shortage hits whisky island” which could force the shutdown of distilleries on the island. Although a £3m pier extension to Bruichladdich Pier had recently been built to allow an oil tanker to dock, low tides and silting meant that there was insufficient depth of water to allow the tanker to berth. This combined with several period of bad weather during winter/spring caused seriously low stocks of oil on the island. The Ghost Ship valinch recognises one of the few occasions that the tanker actually managed to berth at that time.



FIRST CUT (Festival Bottle)

Released: Festival Day 2007 - 950 bottles

 

Nerd Info: The Distillery that never was! Back in 2007 Mark Reynier had great plans to re-build ‘Lochindaal’ distillery in Port Charlotte. In contrast to Bruichladdich it was to be a very modern distillery and the production of Port Charlotte spirit was to take place there. The Edmonton pipe band (flown over from Canada) marched a procession of around 200 people up the hill in front of the existing warehouses where the launch ceremony took place. Lady Caroline McTaggart performed the official part of the ceremony by cutting the first turf (the FIRST CUT) out of the ground where the distillery was going to be built. A Port Charlotte Distillery flag was then raised and the audience were served a dram (of First Cut) before they made their way back to Bruichladdich for the open day.



THE MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE VALINCH

Released: 01/10/2007 - 400 bottles


Nerd Info: MICHAEL JACKSON - Marks eulogy to Michael Jackson (writer and Journalist) who died at age of 65. Not to be confused with the so called ‘king of pop’ who died a couple of years later, this Michael aka the beer hunter, wrote many influential books on Beer and Whisky. Humorously to some, but not all, in 2009 when the ‘other’ Michael Jackson died. Google’s search analytics got it a bit wrong and anyone doing a search was given the details of the whisky writer not the pop star.



WHISKY DREAM DRAM

Released: 25/06/2008 - 450 bottles


Nerd Info: The text on the bottle says it all: “This bottling was dedicated to young film producer, Stuart Rivens, who visited the island and distillery the make a film for the BBC. The experience overwhelmed him so much that he published a book and made a film about the whisky dream. The book followed the main protagonists, Mark and Simon along with Jim and Andrew in their endeavours to bring Bruichladdich distillery back to life after seven years of silence.”

The ‘Whisky Angel’ picture used was part of a beautiful set of images taken at Bruichladdich with a whisky-haired (OK maybe ginger – but that’s typically Scottish) maiden. I’m sure the images were part of a failed ‘Whisky-Coast’ adventure promotion thing blending all Islay whiskies, with Jura, Arran etc. I say failed because I have never seen anything of it apart from initial tests… initial tests involved taking a bottle of whisky from each distillery, pouring it into a big bucket and giving it a stir!.... no wonder the project never took off!



BLANDOLA

Released: 01/11/2008 - 420 bottles


Nerd Info: A subtle jibe at the SWA regulations and naming conventions regarding the ‘blended malts’ category of Scotch Whisky. Whilst Bruichladdich were in pursuit of purity and honesty in the sense of terroir, non-chill filtering, no artificial colouring etc. they were drowning in a market of mass produced, artificially coloured ‘bland’ whiskies. 

“Here is a 14 year old actual ‘Single Malt’ – not the Glen McThis, Glen McThat, Glen McTheother, Deceit, Humbug & E150” is stated on label. However, I’m sure by stating the above as ingredients, we could have breaking regulations somewhere or other. This was also enhanced in a Chateau d’Yquem Cask – this was premium stuff, these casks are not easily come by… (also nowadays we can’t say it was d’Yquem - we have to say is was some French wine).



DIASPORA

Released: 15/04/09 - 400 bottles

 

Nerd Info: Diaspora - the dispersion or spread of people from their original homeland. Here, Mark is making reference to both the highland clearances, and also I believe, to the lack of jobs and affordable housing on Islay - still an issue today which forces the younger generation to leave Islay for the mainland.

 


SOUNDS OF SNOUTS IN THE TROUGH

Released: 08/07/09 - 445 bottles

 

Nerd Info: In 2009 there was a huge scandal regarding MPs expenses and widespread abuse of House of Commons allowances. Amongst the many indiscretions was the phenomenon of ‘flipping’ their second home allowance from one property to another to allow themselves to have a home in London and in their own constituency. There was also claims for phantom mortgages and the use of legal loopholes to avoid paying capital gains tax. Amongst the more extravagant claims were for building moats and duck houses. Mark composed a little song about their expense claims based on the ‘My Favourite Things’ song from The Sound of Music and compared the MPs to Pigs feeding at the (money) trough with the valinch title. Back in the days when Mark ran the show at Bruichladdich he was always a bit controversial!



CARNIVAL OF MALT

Released: 26/04/13 - 700 bottles

 

Nerd Info: Celebrating the 2013 carnival in Rio which attracted more than 1.5 million revellers. This is Bruichladdich own ‘party in a bottle’ released a few weeks prior to the 2013 open day  - an event which year on year was becoming the biggest party on Islay.



STILL GAMES

Released: 01/08/13 - 450 bottles

 

Nerd Info: “Still Game” is a Scottish sit-com about 2 cantankerous Glaswegian pensioners (Jack & Victor) and their views on “how it used to be in the old days”. We were just poking a bit of fun at Jim & Duncan and their ‘games’ in the still house.



HIGH NOON (Festival Bottle)

Released: Festival Day 2015 - 1881 bottles

 

Nerd Info: Vatting of different aged whiskies who’s ages add up to 134. The festival that year was 'Wild West' themed. The courtyard was dressed with large posters of staff members dressed as cowboys and warehouse 12 had a huge Grand Canyon backdrop. Bar signs were changed to 'Saloon' etc. etc. The bottle was called 'High Noon' in reference to the gunfight at the OK corral which took place in 1881 (the year Bruichladdich was established). Technically 'High Noon' and The gunfight at OK corral are entirely different things with the latter happening at 3pm. But that year with the bottling being called High Noon, the gates opened at 12 instead of the usual 12.30.



RHINNS (Special Festival Release at 30PPM)

Released: Festival Day 2015 - 500 bottles

 

Nerd Info: In addition to the festival bottle (High Noon) two special valinches were available to purchase at the 2015 open day - Rhinns (30ppm) & Lochindaal (50ppm). Both of these spirit types were only available to private cask purchasers and were never released as core products. To date this is the only distillery release of either of these spirit types.



01.  SEOLAID

“Shipping Route/Passage”

Image: Lochindaal inlet with Port Charlotte Pier


Nerd Info:  This was the first ‘official’ Port Charlotte ‘Valinch’ - in the sense that you could pour your own bottle in the shop. Previous 500ml bottles (First Cut & Prediction) were bottled and labelled prior to sale.

 

 

02.  GORAG

“Female Scarecrow”

Image: Old Woman in Barley/Straw Field overlooking the old Lochindaal Distillery



03.  BRUTHAICH DUBH

“Black Brae”

Image: Black Brae looking up towards PC Hotel corner

 

Nerd Info: The toothache stone photo was taken by Amanda (partner of Roddy) after hearing about it from one of our old friends (or maybe not so much old, as learned). The friend was Alastair McLellan (his brother owns the Lochindaal Hotel). Alastair's stays in the end house in Bruthaich Dubh... His house features prominently on edition number 03.

 


04.  SRAID A’CHLADAICH

“Shore Street”

Image: Random image of Shore Street

 


05.  BOGHA-DROCHAIDE

“Arch of the Bridge”

Image: Single lane bridge just before old Lochindaal Distillery grounds

 


06.  CUAN-ARD

“Stormy Sea”

Image: Waves breaking over Port Charlotte Pier

 


07.  EOLAS AN DEIDIDH

“Toothache Charm”

Image: The ‘Tooth Stone” behind Port Charlotte

 

Nerd Info: The toothache stone photo was taken by Amanda (partner of Roddy) after hearing about it from one of our old friends (or maybe not so much old, as learned). The friend was Alastair McLellan (his brother owns the Lochindaal Hotel).


If you take the road out of Port Charlotte past the school to Kilchiaran till you pass the water station on your right, take a look into the glenhave a good look in the glen on your right. Here you will find the Tooth Stone, about 200 meters away from the road and almost any crack is filled with old nails.

 


08.  BUAIN-MHONA

“Cut Peat!”

Image: Duncan McGillvray cutting peat

 


09.  FAD MOINE

“Single Peat”

Image: Duncan McGillvray holding one of the above

 


10.  AN TUBA MHASGAIDH

“The Mash Tun”

Image: Bruichladdich Mash Tun


 

11.  TAIGH A’MHUILINN

“Mill House”

Image: Bruichladdich Mill House

 

 

12.  TUNN

“Put into a Barrel”

Image: Can’t be 100% sure, but I think this is Sean Gordon hammering the bung in.


 

13.  SMACHD AIR CAILEACHD

“Quality Control”

Image: ...

 


14.  TAIGH-BATHAR BANNAICHTE

“House Under Bond”

Image: Old warehouses in Port Charlotte.



15.  BARCADH NAN TONN

“The Crashing of the Waves”

Image: ...

 


16.  AM FEAR A BHIOS FAD AIG AN AISEIG GHEIBH E THAIRIS UAIREIGIN

“He who waits long at the ferry will get across sometime”

Image: ...


Nerd Info: This is an old Gaelic proverb which in today’s terms equates to “All things come to those that wait”

 


17.  FOGHAR AN EORNA

“The Barley Harvest”

Image: Raymond Fletcher harvesting the Barley at Dunlossit for use in Bruichladdich Islay Barley.


 

18.  CUBAIREACHD

“Business of a Cooper”

Image: ...


 

19.  CUAN DORCHA

“Dark Ocean”

Image: ...


 

20.  TUIM AN IAR-CHUAIN

“Respect the Western Sea”

Image: Looking over Lochindaal towards Bridgend/Bowmore with Lochindaal lighthouse on left hand side of image.

 

Nerd Info: If you look up ‘tuim’ in the Gaelic Dictionary (Am Faclair Beag) you will see it translated to: “respect, esteem, regard” However, if you ask my Aunt Deirdre (who used to be a Gaelic teacher) she will tell you, and I quote “Tuim is a version of taoim = bilge water”. So, if you enjoyed this valinch keep my intentional translation, if you didn’t then feel free to call it Bilgewater from Western Sea!

 

 

21.  UDAL CUAIN

“Being thrown about by the Ocean”

Image: ...

 

 




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