Bruichladdich have announced the release of The Regeneration Project, the world’s first Islay Rye whisky. The distillery have long maintained a terroir-centric approach to their whisky making, and this release is an extension of their farmer first philosophy.

As a crop, rye is great for the environment. It is known to improve soil health by replacing essential nutrients into the earth. Similarly, rye generally requires less artificial input to grow, which is not just another environmental bonus but it also helps reduce farmers’ costs.

Unfortunately, there has not been a market for domestically grown rye in Scotland, so historically the crop has not been produced. This is where Bruichladdich have stepped in, offering to buy locally grown rye to produce great whisky and in 2017, working with long-standing farming partner Andrew Jones, the crop of rye was first grown and harvested.

Bruichladdich have long been vocal in their support for the local agricultural community while continuing to produce new and unique whiskies. This release is the quintessential distillation of that ideal, managing to promote sustainable farming and improve local soil health while creating a genuine world first whisky.

Head Distiller Adam Hannett summed up the project: “as a distillery we are accountable for our impact and it starts with growing our essential raw ingredients. The Regeneration Project is the perfect example of seeking flavour while reducing our impact - the pursuit of something bigger than whisky.”

The whisky itself is composed of 55% Islay grown rye and 45% malted barley, also grown on Islay. Distilled in 2017 before maturing for five years in a combination of first fill ex-bourbon and virgin American oak casks, The Regeneration Project promises a rye-led peppery spiciness balanced by sweeter notes of marzipan and vanilla, with Bruichladdich’s trademark maritime aroma nestling in the background.

This latest release follows two other small-batch Bruichladdich Projects which were equally experimental. The initial release, The Ternary Project, was a combination of Bruichladdich’s three styles of single malt (unpeated, heavily peated, super-heavily peated), while the second release, The Biodynamic Project, used barley from a carbon negative farm.

The Regeneration Project is limited to 1,800 bottles and is available exclusively at the Bruichladdich distillery or through their website.