Bunnahabhain 

Aberlour
Auchentoshan
Bladnoch
Bunnahabhain
Glenallachie
Glenfarclas
Laphroaig
Loch Lomond

Bunnahabhain 12 years old

Bunnahabhain 12 years oldBunnahabhain (pronounced "bunna-hah-ven") is Gaelic for "mouth of the river".  It was built by William and James Greenlees in 1883 at the confluence of the Margadale river with the Sound of Islay, chosen for the abundant supplies of peat and clear water and its accessibility to the sea.  The buildings are of local stone and it was once a traditional distillery community with workers' cottages and a schoolhouse.

This is one of the few distilleries where you can rent one of the cottages, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the spectacular views to the Paps of Jura.  The label on the bottle depicts a mariner at the helm of his ship, happily sighting Bunnahabhain as he threads through the Sound of Islay on his way home to Oban or Glasgow, and singing the traditional Scottish ballad "Westering Home".

Bunnahabhain is an excellent example of why the regional classification no longer works - it used to be heavily peated because local peat was the fuel of choice for the kilns, and hence typically Islay.  But Bunnahabhain decided early in the 20th century to depart from this tradition, and its malted barley is now supplied lightly peated.  This explains why it is sometimes described as the most "Speyside" malt from Islay.

Bunnahabhain Distillery, IslayThe process water is collected in a reservoir from Margadale springs and piped to the distillery.  Bunnahabhain operates a stainless steel mash tun, 6 Oregon pine washbacks, and 4 large stills the wash stills are onion-shaped whereas the spirit stills are smaller and more pear-shaped.  The whisky is matured in ex-bourbon casks, with a smaller proportion of ex-sherry European oak casks.  It is reduced at the distillery to 63.5% using process water and married in vats for at least 6 months before being bottled.

Westering Home

Westering home and a song in the air
Light in the eye and it's goodbye to care
Laughter o' love and a welcoming there
Isle of my heart my own one.
Play the ballad

Flavour

Profile

Body

1

Sweetness

2

Smoky

1

Medicinal

1

Tobacco

0

Honey

1

Spicy

1

Winey

1

Nutty

1

Malty

2

Fruity

2

Floral

3

 

Bunnahabhain Single Islay Malt whisky is available at 12 years old (as profiled) and in special editions.  It is used extensively in the company's Black Bottle Islay blend, and also in Cutty Sark and Famous Grouse.

Tours and tastings are provided on weekdays during summer, and by appointment at other times.