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Bruichladdich might be sold

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@MacBaker62
MacBaker62 started a discussion

One of the few independent distilleries left in Scotland, might be selling out. Is this good news, or bad? Personally, I'm saddened to hear another indie is going corporate!

whiskyadvocateblog.com/2012/07/…

11 years ago

29 replies

@GRoberts25
GRoberts25 replied

Really bad news, hope its only a rumour. i have visited the distillery several times and have met its owner, i really like what their doing at Bruichladdich, it has a traditional feel about the place, the staff are like a family unit . Values the corporates have lost in some cases !

11 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander replied

It probably won't have that much effect on the spirit - pretty much every distillery in Scotland is owned by a conglomerate and yet they still produce top-notch whiskies. The big change will have to be their marketing - they can't puff up their chest with their "fiercely independent" nonsense if they get acquired! Hopefully one improvement will be cutting down the massive number of expressions they keep pumping out - I find their multiple expressions (and various editions within those expressions) hopelessly confusing. I think their positioning in the marketplace could use a little cleaning up.

11 years ago 0

@cowfish
cowfish replied

It's almost certainly true - Mark Reynier was quite open about it on Twitter yesterday: twitter.com/MarkReynier

@talexander: "cutting down the massive number of expressions they keep pumping out" has been very specifically their plan since releasing the Laddie 10 - now they've hit an ongoing expression they are (were?) planning on streamlining the range to be a small, manageable number and then use Octomore and Port Charlotte as brands for doing heavily peated whiskies.

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

@Mantisking
Mantisking replied

I'm not sure how I feel about this. If it gives them deeper pockets to continue making whisky, great! If it means being run by the bean-counters, boo.

11 years ago 0

@Wills
Wills replied

@Mantisking same goes for me. I don't like the massive amount of releases like most disagree with that selling strategy. But I like the independet and organic approach of the distilleriy...

Time will tell us.

11 years ago 0

@Wodha
Wodha replied

I agree with too many expressions. I like a reliable "straight" single malt for the most part. I find fancy finishes too flowery, fruity or syrupy for my taste.

11 years ago 0

@MacBaker62
MacBaker62 replied

The latest news is that the sale has been finalized! Another indie bites the dust.

11 years ago 0

Sroberts86 replied

The reason that there have been so many expressions is simply because of the independent nature and the financial limitations that come with that. The same is true of the production of the botanist gin. Essentially they inherited a lot of lower quality and uncared for spirits but need money in the door. The answer was finishing or ACEing as bruicladdich refer to it (additional cask enhancement). They have fantastic access to wine casks that others do not use and this aceing or finishing allowed the whisky to be sold sooner thus generating income. It is true that it has been confusing but revenue allowed for survival but also promoted experimentation, and lets be honest led to some really really good whiskies (and yes some not so). As for the sale, it is a shame. I love the independence and the pride that they have previously shown.

11 years ago 5Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

Well, who owns it now?

11 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown replied

Rémy Cointreau now owns Bruichladdich. Sad.

11 years ago 0

@bwmccoy
bwmccoy replied

As a huge fan of Bruichladdich, It saddens me to hear this news, but I am hopeful that the new owners will have a similar relationship that Louis Vuitton has with Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. As Dr. Bill Lumsden explains it; Nothing changed other than he has more financial redources available to him now for research, development and marketing. The owners are mostly hands off.

As for Bruichladdich's large number of expressions, I personnally liked the variety. Did some of the expressions miss the mark, sure, but some of them were absolutely outstanding.

It will be interesting to see how this sale plays out overtime, but hopefully, it is a positive change.

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

@jasonbstanding

I don't understand - why is this automatically bad news?

11 years ago 0

Sroberts86 replied

Its not necessarily the worst news for a small distillery or even a small group of distilleries in general however I think it is fairly poor not for but of Bruichladdich. They have spent every moment since opening professing to have an ethos and mentality as well as having digs at others for being unlike them and then sell up as soon as they have released the truly independent (start to finish) core ten year old whisky. Seems a little wrong and makes some wonder if all the shouting before was simply marketing @jasonbstanding

11 years ago 0

@cowfish
cowfish replied

@Sroberts86 The 'shouting' was almost all by Mark Reynier who was the figurehead of the company and also the only member of the board to vote against the sale. That little bit of information leaked out yesterday and there have been some apologies since, although not quite as many as are probably owed.

Remy Martin have said that they'll keep things the same and will increase staffing levels as well as invest heavily in the distillery.

Wait and see. It may all go bad, but assuming that before the sale has even completed seems a little unfair.

Mark Reynier's statement on what happened is appearing around the internet and can still be found up on his Facebook page: facebook.com/mark.reynier.1/posts/…

11 years ago 2Who liked this?

Sroberts86 replied

I pretty much agree actually and there are many big companies out there that deepen the pockets but generally leave things as they should be such as Louis Vuitton . I also feel that little will change and that Bruichladdich will continue to be a strong employer in Port Charlotte just as an example. I wouldn't say it was only Mark thogh as at different events I've met and had some pretty good chats with Simon Coughlin and Jim Mckewan who both passed similar sentiments. It was also inevitable and I understand it if quicker than I expected. I merely tried to discuss why some people felt so stronglr against the move. I really hope this doesn't sound curt or rude, just wanted to try and explain my thoughts as I really love Bruichladdich (despite a few slip ups along the way) @cowfish

11 years ago 0

@JonMarriage
JonMarriage replied

I have very fond memories of Bruichladdich as a place to visit and the wife and I are big fans of the whisky, both old and new.

Trying something new is one of the drivers behind my enthusiasm for whisky, so I've been a fan of their wide range, especially as a lot of it is reasonably priced.

Having read the various statements floating around the internet I can appreciate why they felt that they needed to sell. I hope that even if the ownership has changed, the people who work at the distillery will be staying on. There are only a few jobs available at most distilleries and the extra jobs involved in the bottling operation must be a valuable asset to the local community.

I wish them all the best of luck and implore Rémy Cointreau not to make too many changes for the sake of greater efficiency or lower overheads. Bruichladdich is more than just somewhere that makes whisky.

11 years ago 5Who liked this?

@GotOak91
GotOak91 replied

A little late to this party and haven't experienced the realm of scotches yet but its a shame to see a small distillery with traditional processes and ideas get bought up and made into another mainstream arm of a global company that doesn't care about quality just as long as they get paid I don't think I could ever sellout to anybody that doesn't practice the way I would in this situation

11 years ago 0

@Wills
Wills replied

@GotOak91 That sounds like a prejudice. You can't tell the quality will be bad. Not yet.

11 years ago 0

@GotOak91
GotOak91 replied

Maybe a little I just thoroughly enjoy smaller company made products is all. Don't mean to be that way I just like those family run establishments with their more traditional and old-fashioned values.

11 years ago 0

@MacBaker62
MacBaker62 replied

I did notice that Ralfy made a point of mentioning that Kilchoman is the last independently owned distillery left on Islay, in this latest vlog review!

youtu.be/Doy0hv88SA8

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@cowfish
cowfish replied

@MacBaker62 It took Kilchoman about 30 minutes after the announcement of the sale to say so themselves on their Facebook page :)

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

@buoy37
buoy37 replied

Since the rumors of the buyout, my local supplier put all their Bruichladdich products on sale. I had four that I wanted to try and since they were on sale.....why not. I bought the last two tonight.

  • Laddie 10
  • 16 Bourbon Cask
  • 17 Rum Cask
  • Port Charlotte Au Turas Mor

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@darekbell
darekbell replied

Bruichladdich was the reason I started my own distillery. I was really sad to hear this.

Darek

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@OCeallaigh
OCeallaigh replied

@jasonbstanding It isn't necessarily bad news, but it's principle. In our ever more corporately owned world, it's nice to see a small company succeed. It gives a sense of solidarity and of integrity in what they do. Maybe the quality won't go down at all… but it is nice to see a company that is more about their mission than the capitalist game we all have to play.

I love Bruichladdich. I will continue to buy their products and I hope greatly that this doesn't affect their product at all.

11 years ago 0

@darekbell
darekbell replied

I agree, it could be good. Though that is a big if. And hey, good for them for making money, it's well deserved. I will also continue to buy their products. What has made them great is their independence. If they want to make a whimsical product called 'yellow submarine,' they can. If they want to release 25 different whiskeys, they can. I just hope that the creativity that has made them so interesting does not get extinguished by corporate meddling. The positive upside is I hope that they will have deeper capital pockets for more marketing, equipment, barrels, etc.

11 years ago 0

@cowfish
cowfish replied

The problem with the timing of the sale is that they had just started to calm down - they hit 10 years old, put out the Laddie 10, had the 16 and 22 in the works, PC10 & Peat Project were just around the corner and Octomore is mapped out for the next few years. The plan, from what I've heard, was to go down the 'standard range' route and stop putting out the random bottles that drove lots of trade to them while they were still building their business. I just hope that the new 'boring' Bruichladdich isn't blamed on the sale, when it was the plan all along.

11 years ago 2Who liked this?