How did you come to work for Bruichladdich?
“I was working in a bar in Glasgow when I was asked to apply for the job of UK brand ambassador for Bruichladdich,” says Abigail, “and I’d always loved the brand.”
“I can still remember the first time I tried Bruichladdich. Somebody was telling me all about the distillery’s values and philosophy, and I was like, ‘this sounds right up my street. I started as UK ambassador and was then asked to join the global team.”
What makes Bruichladdich Distillery so unique? What sets it apart?
“Honestly, pretty much everything. But for the most part, it’s our mindset; it’s how we think about the industry. Our whisky industry was set in its ways for a long time, and we want to be the antidote to that, whether we’re talking about sustainability, packaging, or how we fit into our community on Islay. Whatever it is, we want to start these conversations.”
Of nine distilleries on Islay, Bruichladdich is the third smallest yet the largest private employer on the Island, working hard to spread value into the local community. Bruichladdich works with 20 Islay farmers to grow just over 50% of the malting barley needed for this year’s whisky production, helping ensure the benefits of a booming Island whisky industry flow to local farmers. With terroir at the forefront of everything they do, Bruichladdich labels and traces different barley varieties from different farms and fields and insists on storing and maturing all their casks and every drop of whisky on the Island. By protecting historic Scottish barley varieties and encouraging local, sustainable agriculture, Bruichladdich adds richness and diversity to its island home while paving the way for an increasingly dynamic and self-sufficient Islay distilling industry.
Tell us what it means for Bruichladdich to be B Corp-certified.
“It means a lot to us, and it’s something we like to talk about, but I think the real value for us is that it’s a validation of how we’ve always acted as a distillery since we reopened in 2001,” says Abigail.
B Corp companies put people and the planet in line with profit and are recognised as meeting the highest social and environmental responsibility standards. Bruichladdich is one of only 5,000 B Corp-certified companies globally and the only whisky and gin distillery in Europe using business as a force for good.
“As a company like Bruichladdich, you want to make a profit, but you don’t want that to be at the expense of anyone else or the environment.”