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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 February 2006, 10:30 GMT
Distillery makes 'strongest' dram
Barrels at Bruichladdich
Just 12 barrels of the whisky will be made
A distillery on a west coast island is preparing to produce the "world's most alcoholic single malt whisky".

Managers at Bruichladdich on Islay will use an ancient recipe to distil the whisky four times and produce an alcohol content of at least 92%.

Bruichladdich believes it will be akin to a drink described 300 years ago by travel writer, Martin Martin.

Managing Director Mark Reynier said the distillery was doing it as a bit of fun and it was unlikely to be repeated.

Tasting note

He said: "We are doing this because we have this ancient recipe and therefore we can.

"It is unlikely that we will ever produce any more quadruple distilled malt again, so we expect it to become much sought after."

In his 1695 travel book, The Western Islands of Scotland, Martin Martin refers to a quadruple distilled whisky known as "usquebaugh-baul" and wrote what is probably the world's oldest whisky tasting note.

He said: "The first taste affects all the members of the body: two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; and if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life."

The secret lies in the drink being distilled four times - usually malt is only distilled twice.

Most importantly it will take your breath away
Jim McEwan
Master distiller

Master Distiller Jim McEwan said: "The whisky produced will be around 92% alcohol.

"It should be very similar to the whisky tasted by Martin when he came to the island. It will be very floral, but most importantly it will take your breath away!"

Whisky usually has an alcohol content of between 40% and 63.5%.

Just twelve barrels will be made on Monday at lunchtime.

Bruichladdich distillery was mothballed by the American multi-national Jim Beam in 1994.

It was purchased in December 2000 by a group of private investors.

The distillery was built in 1881 by William Harvey and his brother.

The original Victorian machinery, painstakingly restored over six months, is still used.

See the distillery in action

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