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Distillery in Focus:          Bunnahabhain
Region: Islay
Name: Bunnahabhain
Status: Active
Website: www.Bunnahabhain.com
Telephone: 01496 840646
E-Mail: n.a.
Address: Port Askaig, Isle of Islay, PA46 7R Latitude 55.8828 North,6.1256 West.
Visitor centre: Yes
Owner: Burn Stewart Distillers
Established in 1881
Stills: 2 wash and 2 spirit still
Percentage of single malts: 5%
Casks used for maturation: Bourbon (90%) and sherry (10%)
Contribute(d) to the following blends: Black Bottle, Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, Scottish Leader, Sundowner.

Regular Bottling:

Bunnahabhain 12 YO, 46.3% (40% until Oct 2010)
Bunnahabhain 18 YO, 43%
Bunnahabhain 25 YO, 43%

Other bottlings:

Bunnahabhain 30 YO. Previous limited editions were released for the Feis Ile (Islay Whisky Fectival) as well as more widely, such as the Bunnahabhain 1968 Auld Acquaintance, Bunnahabhain 1971 125th Anniversary

For the tasted whiskies, click here


From right to left: Bunnahabhain 12 YO, 18 YO and 25 YO

History of Bunnahabhain distillery


Wiliam Robertson (From Robertson & Baxter), John Marshall, James Ford and James Greenless founded the distillery in 1881. Since there was nothing on the site, contractors had to build a row of cottages for the workers, a schoolroom and a pier. After the initial investment of £30,000, the distillery ran its first spirit in October 1882 and full production started in January 1983. Islay Distillery Company Ltd made a profit of £10,000 on the following year. In 1887, the company merged with W Grant & Co to become the Highland Distillers. The distillery was expanded in 1963 with the number of stills increased from 2 to 4. The distillery was silent between 1932 and 1936 and in 1982-3. On 10 April 2003, the distillery was sold to Burn Stewart Distillers, part of CL World Brands for around £10 mio. Bunnahabhain was a robustly peaty and remained so until the early 1960s. Then, the whisky was unpeated and the first run of medium-heavily peated whisky took place in 1991 (28 ppm), followed by a second batch in 1997 (38 ppm).

The mash tun
 
The Still house
 
And inside the warehouse

 

Source: Distillery visit, The Making of Scotch whisky by John R. Hume & Michael S. Moss, The Scotch whisky industry record by H. Charles Craig, The Scotch Whisky Distilleries by Misako Udo, John A. Thomson, Peat, Smoke and Spirit, Andrew Jefford and Scotch and Water, Neil Wilson.
Patrick Brossard © 09Feb2011.

Tasted whiskies (61):

Official/original bottlings (OB)  
Age  
Bunnahabhain  Rubha A’Mhail Feis Ile 2015, 11 YO, OB, 57.4%, B:2015, 1200 b. Rating: 16/20
Bunnahabhain 12 YO, OB, 46.8%, B : 2012 Rating: 12/20
Bunnahabhain Moine PX Feis Ile 2016, 12 YO, OB, 54.6%, B:2016, 833 b. Rating: 14/20
Bunnahabhain 14 YO Port Wood Finish, OB, 53%, B: 2008, 1220 b. Rating: 13/20
Bunnahahbain 16 YO Feis Ile 2007, OB, B:1981, 54%, 190 b. Rating: 18/20
Bunnahabhain 18 YO PX for Feis Ile 2010, OB, 51.4%, B: 2010, 384 b. Rating: 16/20
Bunnahabhain XVIII, 18 YO, OB, 43%. B:2006 Rating: 12/20
Bunnahabhain 25 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2008 Rating: 15/20
Bunnahabhain 40 YO, OB, 41.5%, B: 2012 Rating: 17/20
   
Vintages  
Bunnahabhain 1968 Auld Acquaintance, OB, 43.8% Rating: 18/20
   
No Age Specified (NAS)  
Bunnhahabhain Ceobanach, OB, 46.3%, B:2015. Rating: 07/20
Bunnhahabhain Toiteach, OB, 46%, B: 2015 Rating: 12/20
Bunnahabhain Toiteach, OB, 46%, B:2012 Rating: 12/20

 

Independent bottlings (IB) (and anonymous Bunna)  
   
Acla Selection  
Bunnahabhain 1973, 40YO, Acla Selection, 46.2%, B: 2013. Rating: 14/20
   
Adelphi  
Bunnahabhain 1977, 27 YO, Adelphi, 50.6%. c. 7850 Rating: 14/20
Bunnahabhain 1997, Adelphi, 59.6%, B: 2007, c.5262, 597 b. Rating: 13/20
   
Anam na h-Alba  
Kuddels Bunny 1987, 27 YO Anam na h-Alba, 50.3%, B; 2014, 24 b. Rating: 14/20
   
Archives  
Bunnahabhain 1990, 21 YO, Archives, 52.3%, B : 2012, c. 14, 62 b. Rating: 13/20
   
The Bottlers  
Bunnahabhain 1978, 30 YO, The Bottlers, 52.8%, B:2009, cask 7586. Rating: 17/20
   
Cadenhead's  
Bunnahabhain 1976, 39 YO, Cadenhead’s, 49.4%, B:2015 Rating: 15/20
   
Douglas Laing  
Bunnahabhain 1979 OMC Sherry, 20 YO, D. Laing, 50% Rating: 16/20
Bunnahabhain 1990 XOP, 25 YO, D. Laing, 44.2%, B:2015, c. DL10984 Rating: 11/20
   
Duncan Taylor  
Bunnahabhain 1967 Sherry, 38 YO, D. Taylor, 40.8 %, c. 3328 Rating: 17/20
Bunnahabhain 1968, 38 YO, D.Taylor, B: 2006, 42.1%, c. 7010 Rating: 17/20
   
First Editions, The  
Bunnahabhain 1997, 16 YO, The First Editions, 56.4%, B:2014. Rating: 16/20
   
Gordon & MacPhail  
Bunnahabhain 1991 Special Reserve, 15 YO, G&M, 55.8%, B: 2006, c. 15072, 300 b. Rating: 16/20
   
Jean Boyer  
Bunnahabhain 2001 Le Puit à Whisky, 10 YO, Jean Boyer, 43%. B: 2012 Rating: 14/20
Bunnahabhain Peated Le Puit a Whisky, 3 YO, Jean Boyer, 43%, B: 2010, Rating: 08/20
   
Lady of the Glen  
Bunnahahbhain 1987, Lady of the Glen, 50.01%, B:2014, 205 b. Rating: 16/20
   
Liquid Sun  
Bunnhahabhain 1973, Liquid Sun, 50%, B: 2010. Rating: 17/20
   
Martins  
Bunnahabhain 1977, 29 YO, Martin’s, 43%, B: 2007 Rating: 15/20
   
Master of Malts  
Bunnahabhain 1990, 20 YO, Master of Malts, 54.1%. B: 2011, 626 bottles Rating: 08/20
   
Monnier  
Bunnhahabhain 1968 Kreuzritter, Monnier 43.8%, B: 2011, c. 12404, 180 b. Rating: 16/20
   
Murray McDavid & Celtic Heartlands  
Bunnahabhain 1966, 40 YO, Celtic Heartlands, B: 2006, 40.1% Rating: 17/20
Bunnhahabhain 1976 Fino Sherry, 31 YO, MMD, 48.1%, B: 2008, 1134 b. Rating: 15/20
   
Perfect Dram, The  
Bunnahabhain 1976 for the Whisky Schiff Acla da Fans, The Perfect Dram, 48.8%, B: 2012 Rating: 16/20
Bunnhahabhain 1987 Fino, 26 YO, The Perfect Dram, 49.4%, B:2013, 255 b. Rating: 14/20
   
Scotch Malt Whisky Society  
Bunnahabhain 10.5 1965, SMWS, 50%, B: 1987 Rating: 17/20
   
Scott's Selection  
Bunnahabhain 1984, Scott’s selection, 57.5%, B: 2003 Rating: 14/20
   
Signatory  
Bunnahabhain 1973 For LMDW, over 35 YO, Signatory , 49.4%, B: 2011, c. 12153, 457 b. Rating: 15/20
Bunnahabhain 1978, 27 YO, Signatory, 54.9%, c. 2541, 493 b. Rating: 16/20
Bunnahabhain 1979 Waldhaus Am See, 32 YO, Signatory, 51.4%, B: 2012, c. 9516, 603 b. Rating: 15/20
Bunnahabhain 1997, 10 YO, Signatory, 59.2%, B: 2008, c. 5362, 568 b. Rating: 15/20
   
Single Cask Collection  
Bunnahabhain 1991, 21 YO, Single Cask Collection, 49.1%, B:2012 Rating: 12/20
   
Single Malts of Scotland & Speciality drinks  
Bunnahabhain 1979, 27 YO, Single Malts of Scotland, 49.5%, B: 2008. c. 11688. 222 b. Rating: 17/20
Port Askaig 45 YO, Speciality Drinks, 40.8%, B:2014 Rating: 15/20
   
Villa Konthor  
Bunnahabhain 1990, 22YO, Villa Konthor, 54%. B:2012 Rating: 16/20
   
The Whisky Agency  
Bunnahabhain 1965, 45 YO, TWA, 40%, B: 2010, 195 bottles Rating: 14/20
Bunnahabhain 1967, TWA, 40.5%, B: 2010, 139 b. Rating: 17/20
Bunnahabhain 1968 for Sweden, 42 YO, TWA, 43.8%, B:2010, 172 b. Rating: 16/20
Bunnahabhain 1987 Circus joint bottling with the Nectar, 28 YO, TWA, 55.0%, B:2015. Rating: 15/20
Bunnahabhain 2001, 8 YO, TWA, 54%, B: 2010 Rating: 14/20
   
Whisybroker  
Islay Malt 3 (Bunnhahbain) 1990, 21 YO, Whiskybroker, 54.5%, B: 2012, c. 3, 739 b. Rating: 14/20
Bunnhahbain 1991, 20 YO, Whiskybroker, 49.7%, B:2012, c. 5469, 286 b. Rating: 13/20
   
The Whisky Fair  
Bunnahabhain 1977, 29 YO, TWF, B: 2007, 45.1%, 108 b. Rating: 10/20
   
Whisky Club Royal  
Bunnahabhain 1991, 16 YO, Whisky Club Royal, 48.6%, B: 2013. Rating: 12/20
   
Wilson & Morgan  
Bunnahabhain 1973, 38 YO, Wilson & Morgan, 41.2%, B: 2012 Rating: 16/20
Bunnahabhain 1989 PX finish, Wilson & Morgan, 45.7%, c. 5817/18. Rating: 14/20
Bunnahabhain Heavy Peat, 13 YO, Wilson & Morgan, 46%, B:2012 Rating: 11/20