About Water of Life Film
Self-styled as Progressive Hebridean Distillers, Bruichladdich is a distillery both steeped in tradition and enthusiastic about innovation. That creative tension has allowed them to make their way to the forefront of the consumer spectrum.
Founded in 1881, Bruichladdich was never a premiere distillery and was eventually mothballed in 1994 as the industry moved firmly into the blended whisky space due to economies of scale.
But a chance meeting at the 1985 London Wine Fair started Mark Reynier (and his business partner Simon Coughlin) on a quest to purchase and revitalize the distillery. Along with a group of investors, they made it their mission to breath life back into Bruichladdich and single malt whisky.
Jim McEwan was Master Distiller at Bowmore at the time, but he jumped at the chance to move across Islay’s Loch Indaal to Bruichladdich. As Production Director, he brought decades of experience and expertise into alignment with Reynier’s endless desire to innovate.
This story of the craftsmen, chemist and renegades as at the heart of The Water of Life film which charts the evolution of Scotch whisky from what was a stagnant industry in the 1980’s into the powerhouse it is today.
Jim's attention to detail, commitment to excellence and larger than life personality helped to put Bruichladdich back on the map and his commitment to ensuring that the distillery returned to producing peated whisky also brought with it the birth of the Port Charlotte and Octomore ranges.
But it was with the main unpeated Bruichladdich line that Jim made quite possibly his largest mark and the shift in the distillery's philosophy from producing bulk whisky for blending to producing high quality single malt for its own releases also brought with it a focus shift towards the exploration of terroir and barley which has underpinned every release from the distillery since then.
This commitment to terroir, which is a term more commonly used in the production of wine, helps set Bruichladdich apart from other distilleries and while the concept of terroir may be a rather controversial topic in the whisky world, it has certainly led to the advent of some absolutely fantastic whiskies.
Today, Bruichladdich still employs traditional distillation techniques but has also embraced modern consumer engagement aspects which have allowed them to build a rabid fanbase throughout the world.
In 2020 they became the first distillery in Scotland to earn the vaunted B-Corp status for sustainability practices.
While Bruichladdich generally produces only enough whisky for its official releases, some casks have made their way onto the secondary market and into the hands of independent bottlers.
Our collaboration with Water of Life Film
One such expression would be the focus of this article and The Single Cask is extremely honoured and excited to announce that we have teamed up with The Water of Life film to showcase a rather exceptional Bruichladdich release!
This expression was distilled on the 12th of October 2009, matured in a first fill ex-bourbon cask for 11 years before being bottled at a cask strength of 61.3% ABV by The Single Cask in celebration of The Water of Life film.
What makes this release even more special (and increasingly rare) is that it was distilled when Jim was at the helm at Bruichladdich and it is testament to his visionary genius.
Bruichladdich 2009 whisky tasting notes
Nose: macadamia, sea salt, malt, honey, cacao, light hay.
Palate: An immediate rush of liquorice, lemon, key lime and fennel which took the tongue a few minutes to process before it leads on to green apple, pineapple, cinnamon and mint on second taste before it exits and leaves behind you salivating with malt powder and sencha rice tea. Full-bodied and decadent.
Finish: Dries off into malt, white pepper, coriander seeds.
You can now purchase this special release (just 247 bottles) from
our shop and get free access to a full experience, including access to the film screening, a live tasting session and Q&A. Read more about the event here.
Do you want to bottle your own whisky?
We love working with the producers of Water of Life Film, clubs like Summerton, bars, restaurants, and aspiring independent bottlers. We can help you buy a cask of whisky, and bottle it. Contact us today if you'd like help bottling your very own whisky.