The Bunnahabhain distillery (pronounced Boon-uh-hah-ven) was built in the late 1800’s, and lies on the northeast shore of Islay near Port Askaig. In defiance of mainstream Islay distilling, it mainly produces unpeated single malt whiskies.
Due to its style and its somewhat remote location far away from the peated powerhouses on the south side of Islay, it seems like Bunnahabhian is often one of the forgotten children of the great whisky producing island. This is typically good news for non-mainstream enthusiasts searching for well aged stock and independently bottled offerings of Bunnahabhain, but is nonetheless a shame that more people don’t have this distillery on their radar.
Bunnahabhain is currently owned by Distel, who despite being a relatively small player in the scotch whisky game, owns several dozens of spirits and wine labels throughout the world. Bunnahabhain sources all of its barley from the Port Ellen malting floors, and has 4 operating pot stills (2 wash, 2 spirit). Bunnahabhain also ages all of its casks on site in low brick dunnage warehouses nestled right against the sea.
In a move to appeal to the modern trends of whisky enthusiasts (that’s us!), Bunnahabhain underwent a small rebranding several years ago, raising the proof of all of their core range whiskies to 46.3% ABV, and eliminating all chill filtering and coloring to their whiskies. If only more distilleries would take note! Their core range includes 12, 18, 25, and 40 year old bottlings as well as a few more heavily peated NAS releases.