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Bunnahabhain

Deriving from the Gaelic for ‘mouth of the river’, Bunnahabhain was founded in 1881 by William Robertson and brothers James and William Greenless. A very smooth, easy-drinking Islay malt, Bunnahabhain (pronounced ‘BOO-na-HAven’) closed and reopened twice during the twentieth century and eventually production was limited to a mere few weeks annually following Edrington's 1999 acquisition of previous owners Highland Distillers.

In 2003, Edrington sold Bunnahabhain to Burn Stewart Distilleries for £10 million. Included in this deal was the popular blend Black Bottle, whose contents feature a quantity of spirit from every distillery on Islay. Today, production stands at 2.5million litres a year. Of this, 21,000 casks are kept at the distillery for maturation and the resultant whisky will be used for the Black Bottle blend and for bottling as Bunnahabhain single malt. The rest of the outturn is sent for maturation elsewhere. In relative solitude, Bunnahabhain is the Northern-most Islay distillery. It sits in a large bay to the North East of the isle, drawing its water from the Margadale Spring.

Bunnahabhain Whisky Distillery

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About Bunnahabhain Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01496 840646

Distillery Founded

1881

Distillery Capacity

2 500 000 litres

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Owner

Burn Stewart Distillers (CL Financial)

Distillery Address

Near Port Askaig, Islay, Argyll

Distillery Website

www.bunnahabhain.com

1881

William Robertson of Robertson & Baxter, founds the distillery together with the brothers William and James Greenless. The Greenless brothers co-founded the Islay Distillers Company Ltd in 1879 with James Ford.

1883

Production starts in earnest in January.

1887

Islay Distillers Company Ltd merges with William Grant & Co. in order to form Highland Distilleries Company Limited.

1930

The distillery closes.

1937

The distillery reopens.

1963

The two stills are augmented by two more.

1982

he distillery closes.

1984

The distillery reopens. A 21 year old is released to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Bunnahabhain.

1999

Edrington takes over Highland Distillers and mothballs Bunnahabhain but allows for a few weeks of production a year.

2001

A 35 year old from 1965 is released in a limited edition of 594 bottles during Islay Whisky Festival.

2002

As in the previous year, Islay Whisky Festival features another Bunnahabhain – 1966, a 35 year old in sherry casks and limited to 401 bottles. Auld Acquaintance 1968 (33 years, 2002 bottles) is launched at the Islay Jazz Festival. It is also named Hogmanay (after the Scottish New Year) as it was filled on 31st December 1968.

2003

In April Edrington sells Bunnahabhain and Black Bottle to Burn Stewart Distilleries (C. L. World Brands) at the princely sum of £10 million. A 40 year old from 1963, matured in sherry casks, is launched.

2004

The distillery experimented in the late 90s with a peated whisky and the first limited edition sample is a 6 year old cask strength called Moine.

2005

Three limited editions are released - 34 years old, 18 years old and 25 years old.

2006

14 year old Pedro Ximenez and 35 years old are launched.

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A delicious single cask Bunnahabhain distilled in 1997 and bottled by Wemyss Malts in August of 2008. This is a release of just 360 bottles.  More info
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Cask strength Bunnahabhain - unpeated - from Signatory. Distilled in October 2001 and bottled in September 2012, shortly before it had spent 11 years in cask 1766.  More info
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A sherry-matured 10 year old Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. This was distilled in December of 2001 and bottled in 2011 at the "preferred strength of 50%". Lovely stuff.  More info
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