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Bunnahabhain Distillery: Distinctive Islay Whiskies

Nestled on the northeastern shores of the famous Isle of Islay in Scotland, Bunnahabhain Distillery is an icon of traditional Scottish whisky production.


Bunnahabhain’s remote location and stunning coastal views contribute to the distillery’s unique character and flavour profile that is sought out by whisky collectors and enthusiasts around the world. Bunnahabhain is typically renowned as being an unpeated Islay malt, the only one on the island!

Bunnahabhain has a storied history that dates back to 1881, when it was established by the Islay Distillery Company. The distillery was envisioned as a way to provide employment to the local population during times of economic hardship. “Bunnahabhain” translates to “mouth of the river” in Gaelic, the perfect name given the distillery’s proximity to the Margadale River.

The distillery exudes a rustic charm that perfectly complements its coastal surroundings. Traditional, white-washed buildings with slate roofs house the production facilities, warehouses and visitor centre and the iconic pagoda-style chimneys stand tall as a testament to the distillery’s rich history.

The approach here to whisky production is distinctive.


Bunnahabhain produces unpeated, lightly peated and heavily peated single malt whiskies, providing a diverse range of flavours for different releases. The distillery draws its water from the Margadale Spring, contributing to the unique character of its spirits.

At the heart of the distillery’s ethos lies a commitment to tradition and craftsmanship. Here we have traditional copper pot stills which are key to producing the rich, complex flavours that define these whiskies. With an emphasis on quality over quantity, Bunnahabhain takes its time in maturing its whiskies, often opting for longer aging periods to achieve the desired flavours.

The unpeated expressions here typically exhibit notes of honey, fruit, and gentle spices. In contrast, the peated varieties offer a delightful blend of coastal influences, maritime notes, and a subtle smokiness that reflects the location on Islay.

Throughout its long history, Bunnahabhain has remained committed to producing exceptional whiskies that capture the essence of Islay’s coastal beauty. Its offerings have gained a dedicated following among whisky connoisseurs worldwide, contributing to Islay’s reputation as a whisky lover’s paradise. Long may this continue.

Famous bottlings of Bunnahabhain:

Bunnahabhain Eich Bhana Lir

Bunnahabhain Eich Bhana Lir

In 2017, the distillery released a 46 Yar Old Single Malt called Eich Bhana Lir. It is named after the God of the Seas in Gaelic mythology. The oldest ever bottle released from Bunnahabhain, just 198 bottles were produced, priced at around £5,000 on release.

Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old

Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old

Quietly maturing for four decades, the 40 Year Old was also released in 2017, with just 750 bottles produced. The casks that produced this release had been all but forgotten until the blending team, reviewing the warehouse ledgers discovered them, leading to this fascinating release


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