A special project between Orkney farmers and an Islay distillery will see a new whisky become available on local shelves for the first time. Bruichladdich Distillery has been using bere, an ancient type of Scottish barley, from Orkney over recent years to produce a new whisky. The result, Bere Barley 2008, was launched last year, and was exclusively available in international airports. Now, though, selected local retailers will get the chance to stock the whisky themselves.
The Agronomy Institute at Orkney College has helped set up an Orcadian supply chain to provide Bruichladdich with around fifty tonnes of Bere annually – so there should be plenty more to come from the Distillery. Bruichladdich’s Carl Reavey has been in Orkney this week, he described the project as ‘an excellent example of collaboration between two of Scotland’s remoter islands’.
Peter Martin, Director of the Agronomy Institute, added “Carl’s visit is a reflection of the importance of the Bere whisky project to Bruichladdich and it is especially rewarding, after so many years of research, development and collaboration with the distillery, to have high profile whiskies made from Orkney-grown Bere for sale both locally and on the world market. These demonstrate that ancient crops, like Bere, are still economically relevant to the 21st century and that commercial use can play an important role in their conservation”.