Bruichladdich was built in 1881 by the Harvey brothers on the shore of Loch Indaal, on the westernmost part of the island. At the time, the distillery was a state-of-the-art design with uniquely tall and narrow-necked stills to produce a clean and lighter spirit, the opposite of the styles produced by the other Islay farm distilleries at the time. Over the next forty years it subsequently changed owners several times and narrowly avoiding closure until 1994, when it was shut down for being 'surplus to requirements'.
The distillery was subsequently purchased in December 2000 by private investors led by Mark Reynier . Jim McEwan, who had worked at Bowmore Distillery was hired as master distiller and production director. Having escaped modernisation, most of the original Harvey machinery is still in use today.
The distillery produces three distinct styles sold under different brands: unpeated Bruichladdich, heavily-peated Port Charlotte and the ultra-peated Octomore.