-> 2009 -> Filling a Bruichladdich Valinch - Take 3

Monday, 06/Jul/2009

Filling a Bruichladdich Valinch - Take 3

Picture of a Bruichladdich Valinch bottle being filled

Spotting a picture of Ollie Bray filling his bottle of Bruichladdich Valinch during the Education 2020 Unconference on Islay has motivated me to now post my own pictures. Having arrived on Islay a few days before the unconference I used the Thursday morning to fill my own bottle. Not that this was my first Valinch either:

As you've probably guessed from the title this was my third. The first one was back in 2003 when I decided to buy myself a birthday present. I don't remember who took the picture then, I think probably someone from the distillery. My sister took the pictures for the second one in 2007, a late birthday present from my parents.

Picture of Armin Grewe filling his valinch

So why another one? Why a third bottle? Aren't two enough? Well, obviously not. The first one was actually opened and drunk a few years ago, opened for a special occasion.

Picture of Armin Grewe putting a label on to a bottle of Bruichladdich Valinch

The second one is still closed, waiting for the special occasion (whatever that might be) I'm keeping it for. There was a specific reason I wanted this valinch though: It started with an entry on the Bruichladdich blog. Nothing too special in it for me until I spotted the sentence ‘There are 1000 valinch bottles distilled on the 22nd April 1993 and filled into a refill sherry butt, cask number 13 [..]’.

What's the importance of that date? Well, as mentioned the previous two bottles were birthday presents. The whisky in this cask was actually distilled on my 25th birthday, I think a good enough excuse for me to want to own a bottle of it. I'm sure you'll agree.

Picture of Jim McEwan of Bruichladdich distillery about to sign a bottle of whisky

As this was the festival valinch and I wasn't going to be on Islay until almost mid June I was wondering what my chances were to still get one. At the end of May I sent a mail to the Bruichladdich shop team, luckily Julie replied telling me that she thought there should be enough left by the time I arrived.

Nevertheless I didn't want to leave anything to chance and drove to the distillery the first morning I was on Islay. Mary was on duty and she agreed to take the pictures while I was filling my valinch. I'm sure you'll agree she did a great job, thank you Mary! Just as we finished Jim McEwan returned from a private tour and started signing bottles, we quickly smuggled my bottle among them and got it signed as well.

Now the next question is how I can keep up the theme and link my next valinch to my birthday somehow?

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