About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


It's been almost 5 months since I reviewed a Bunnahabhain and I've always wanted to have a taste of the one, I'll be reviewing below...

But first, I just have to praise the location of the distillery - its possibly one if the prettiest of distillery locations on Islay, if not the prettiest, IMHO...

On a good day the view to the Paps of Jura are spectacular and the whole place just radiates tranquillity. But then you say 'Caol Ila has a great view of the Paps of Jura as well...' yes, they do but again you don't get the same peace and quiet at Caol Ila as you do at Bunnahabhain.

The distillery itself is no beauty. I had a friend (can't remember who, at this moment - sorry!) describe the buildings as looking like an old prison camp and also slapped the label of 'Shawshank Distillery'  - the only thing looking nice is the front row of buildings nearest to the water... but go there on a nice day and sit on the pier and just relax and enjoy the view - its breathtaking!

Before the review I thought I'd push in a little announcement about the Burn Stewart Distillers group which Bunnahabhain is a part of, along with Tobermory (Isle of Mull) and Deanston Distillery. A short while ago it was announced that South African Drinks Company 'Distell' has bought Burn Stewart as a move into the whisky market. These will then be the 4-6th (to my knowledge, at least) distilleries to my knowledge that gets a part or full South African ownership... The others being Benriach, Glendronach and Glenglassaugh - now a part of The Benriach Distillery Company, which is partly South African and Scottish owned.

Bunnahabhain from the pier - May 6th 2011 © The Malt Desk

Bunnahabhain 16yo (bottled 2008) 53,2%, Manzanilla sherry wood finish, 3792 bottles, Distillery Bottling

Colour is amber

Dry sweet wine, very fitting with being from a Manzanilla cask, yeasty too, toffee, fresh ciabatta bread, dried green grapes, nutty, more than a hint of sulphur but this is adding some edge to it rather than being offensive. Also the damp warehouse feel in the background here...

Heavy on the oranges and nuts along with a good malt backbone, overripe banana, burnt sugar, nutmeg and dried fruits. Water takes some of the very vinous edge off and balances things out and makes this a very nice dessert dram!

Thanks to Kalle for the sample!


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