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Bunnahabhain Distillery was founded on Islay in 1881 near Port Askaig. Bunnahabhain Village was established to accommodate its employees. Bunnahabhain is a milder single malt Islay whiskey that is readily available. Its taste contrasts sharply with other alcoholic beverages made on the island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland.
The stills and the huge courtyard are just two examples of how big everything is. Due to their low filling levels and large amounts of accessible copper, these contribute to the creation of a traditionally light malt.
A road to the distillery was built in 1960 after initially being supplied by ship. The last shipment by ship took place in 1993. As demand increased, it reopened in 1984 after closing in 1981. Burn Stewart, one of ten operating distilleries on the island, acquired it in 2003 and joined Distell in 2014.
The spirit is traditionally matured in ex-sherry casks, giving it a luscious sweetness and richness. However, it is not entirely clear where the spicy ginger note that characterizes Bunna's comes from. Refill kegs occasionally have a small salt rim.
Bunna's peat content had fallen to almost zero by the 1960s, but Burn Stewart is restoring the area to its former smoky state. Currently 20% of the harvest is heavily peated and used to make various bottlings, the most popular of which is Taoiseach.
The distillery was originally controlled by the Islay Distillery Company but the Highland Distilleries Company took it over in 1887.
The remote northeast coast of Islay might seem an odd place for a large Victorian distillery, but William Robertson (of Robertson & Baxter) and Greenlees Bros. chose it as the ideal location for their island vision in 1881. The construction required not only the construction of the distillery, but also the construction of dwellings, a road, and the addition of a pier to allow the entrance of barrels and grain and the exit of alcohol. Robertson paid £30,000 (about £2.6m in today's currency) for it. When Bunnahabhain and Glenrothes merged in 1887, Highland Distillers - currently Edrington - was formed. While other Islay distilleries offered their products as both blenders and single malts, Bunna's fortunes have always been linked to the latter. Although widely used in the industry, it was prominently used by Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, and eventually Black Bottle. In 1963, the same year the floor maltings were built, the stills were doubled due to the rapid growth of Scotch in the early 1960's. Its great success was short-lived and in 1982 it was mothballed along with many other distilleries. Performance levels were kept low for several years, although this only lasted two years. In the late 1980s it was finally processed into a single malt with the slogan "the unpronounceable malt". However, the vast majority of its production still found its way into blends. Despite a recovery in the whiskey industry, Edrington sold her to Burn Stewart in 2003 for £10m (while retaining the bottler's contracts). Burn Stewart was a subsidiary of Trinidad-based CL Financial, which collapsed in 2009. Burn Stewart was sold by CL receivers in 2013 to Distell, a reliable distributor in South Africa. Since then, sales of the single malt have increased along with production, with notable success in Taiwan and Africa. Distell said in 2017 that it would invest £11m to improve Bunnahabhain's "shabby" appearance and transform the site into a "world-class whiskey destination". Coastal camps were demolished in 2019 as part of the three-year improvement initiative to make way for a new visitor center.
Bunnahabhain whiskey reviews
The quintessential Scottish distillery that no one can quite pronounce is Bunnahabhain. It's a relatively unknown distillery that many casual whiskey drinkers have never heard of, and it's spelled completely differently than it sounds, bearing no resemblance to any words in the English language. In other words, the conditions are ideal for absolutely horrific pronunciation errors. Bunnahabhain is unique despite being on the island of Islay as they focus on producing unpeated whiskeys which puts them in competition with Speyside and other whiskey regions rather than Islay's traditional powerhouses. The bulk of the distillate made on the property is reserved for their releases, although some is added to popular blends like Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark. Bunnahabhain can delight even the most seasoned drinker once you master the pronunciation (and spelling) with its wide range of specialty bottlings, core age lineup and experimental cask finishes.
Bunnahabhain 12's nose opens with rich floral notes of jasmine and white flowers. As you continue to inhale, you will notice lovely notes of honey, wood and cream that perfectly complement the citrus brightness created by the zests of lemon and orange. As the whiskey settles in the glass, more salt and saline appear, but this serves as a wonderful, muted contrast to the sweetness of the honey and flowers. The notes of damp hay and pepper remind you that at 12 you're still a bit young. Similar to the fragrance, Bunnahabhain 12 immediately releases a flood of intriguing aromas. Scented with milk chocolate, honeysuckle, melon and summer fruits, it is lively and spicy. With 46.3% ABV and no chill filtration, it maintains an oily, thick and creamy mouthfeel. It has fantastic body, nice sweetness and hints of earthy minerality on the front of the palate. Layers of cardamom, cinnamon and clove intensify the spice as it moves towards the palate. A hint of table salt and the tiniest whiff of smoke indicate the presence of sea air. I would like to ask more chocolatiers to try to emulate the taste of smoked orange pralines, which is created when the smoke combines with the flavors of chocolate and orange. The spiciness from the back of the palate rolls into the finish, giving it medium length and the ideal amount of heat that's both satisfying and cooling. Melon and tropical flavors are replaced by bolder red fruits and baking spices. The end also has hints of ash and saline, as if seawater is being used to put out a fire. Bunnahabhain 12 is the most unique whiskey I've experienced in recent times. I was very interested in learning more about the whole Bunnahabhain lineage because of their rich and complicated character (anyone 18 years old?). It has an enticing scent, a tangy palate packed with chocolate and orange sweetness, and a satisfying finish that encourages you to keep drinking. With every sip, Bunnahabhain 12 forces you, the drinker, to learn more about your palate and encourages you to continue to do so. This whiskey packs a powerful punch beyond its 'entry level' market placement and at under €60 is fantastic value.
A significant advancement for Bunnahabhain 12yo, this edition was launched in the summer of 2010 with a 46.3% strength increase and promises to be chill-filtered and dye-free. We sincerely hope this will be a great success as manufacturers deserve a lot of credit for giving customers what they want without drastically increasing the price. Tasting notes Nose: Fresh and aromatic, fruity-floral with hints of dried fruit and a subtle dominance of smoke. Palate: Light with notes of fruit, nutty flavors with a sweetness and hints of vanilla and caramel. Finish: Long-lasting, beautifully rich and full-bodied.
Bunnahabhain 12 Cask Strength
The new Bunnahabhain 2021 12 year old cask strength whiskey is available now. This annual release has been influenced by cask strength at the distillery's renowned Warehouse 9. This genuine celebration of the hugely popular 12 year old whiskey has been matured on the Isle of Islay. When asked about the motivation behind Cask Strength, Brendan McCarron, Master Distiller, replied: It is so exciting when people travel to Islay and taste Bunnahabhain whiskeys fresh on the cask. However, you are aware that not everyone can travel. With the help of this limited edition 12 year old Cask Strength they are able to offer their customers the opportunity to discover them for themselves. Tasting notes Colour: Deep rose gold Nose: Dark berries, citrus and toasted oak gradually give way to sweet vanilla and a hint of cinnamon spice. Palate: Creamy chocolate, sherry-soaked fruit and a balanced nuttiness give way to cloves, nutmeg and a subtle sea salt spray. Finish: A lingering sweet finish with cherries and hints of woody spice.
When you taste the 18 year old single malt you will understand why it has won so many gold medals and is one of the most recognized products. The whiskey's signature aging in sherry casks is evident in its deep chocolate color and salty aftertaste reminiscent of our seaside location. There's no escaping the salty sea air when you've matured for 18 years, especially with warehouses along the coast and a harbor fed by the Sound of Islay. Tasting Notes Colour: rich mahogany gold. Nose: Fragrant with notes of dried fruit, rich honey nuts, toffee and light spice notes. Palate: Notes of smooth sherry nuts, dried fruit and oak, with toffee and a light touch of salt from its 18 years of coastal aging. Finish: A dried fruit finish with hints of spice and salt.
Like all their single malts, this one is not chill-filtered and has a natural color. It's one of the "super premium" members of their core range and another big winner in the awards category. A 25 year old that has a noticeable sherry influence is the ideal example of how well Bunnahabhain ages and how broad the complex palette of sweet oak layers and nutty flavors that can be produced by those few extra years in cask. Tasting Notes Colour: Amber Gold Nose: Scents of rich sherry blossoming into sweet caramel and polished leather. Palate: An initial taste of sweet berries and cream that evolves into a feast of toasted nuts and malt. Finish: Soft and dry with delicate hints of sweet sugar and spicy oak that linger on the tongue. Bunnahabhain Cruach Mhona Cruach Mhona [pronounced croo-ach vona] is the only Bunnahabhain (peated malt) mine open to long-haul travelers only. It was one of their first exclusive travel retail products. The whiskey's beautiful golden hue hides its intensely nuanced flavor. Rich spice and aromatic peat smoke come after a jolt of herbal malt and fruit that is both energizing and fruity. This peaty whiskey has a lingering, smoky flavor that blends the pleasant scent of burning grass with the subtle, salty mist of the sea. Tasting notes Color: white gold Nose: crisp and lively sweet peat, with herbal hay, dry smoke and burning grass. Palate: Starting out light, malty and sweet, progressing to smoky white pepper and seaweed saltiness. Finished: Persistent dry smokiness with seaweed and spice.