Bunnahabhain Distillery (founded 1881) is located on the north shore of Islay, close to Port Askaig. Its name translates from the Gaelic to “mouth of the river” (the Margadale River flows about 300 yards from the distillery).
In 1887 the distillery was acquired by Highland Distilleries Company, which in turn was taken over by the Edrington Group in 1999. The latter immediately mothballed it and put it on sale. Since 2003 Bunnahabhain has been owned by Burn Stewart Distillers and equipped with two pairs of stills can produce 2.7 million liters of spirit per annum. Bunnahabhain 34 years old presented here was distilled in 1968, aged in ex-sherry casks and bottled in 2002, when the distillery’s future looked rather bleak, with an outrun of 1620 bottles.
Nose: big and powerful, honey, milk chocolate, raisins, dried apricots and mango, apples, notes of leather and candle wax, dash of pepper and faint hint of smoke.
Palate: big on sherry, raisins, espresso, salted caramel, pepper, cinnamon, prunes, dried apricots and cherries, leather, tobacco, roasted almonds and oak.
Finish: long and pretty oaky, with notes of tobacco, leather, roasted almonds and nuts, pepper and distant wisp of smoke.