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Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old

(70cl, 46.3%)
Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old
User Rating
(78 Reviews)
In stock, worldwide delivery available.
Can be dispatched today.

Bunnahabhain 12 Bottling Note

This entry level Bunnahabhain bottling comes in a redesigned bottle. This 12 year old is lightly peated for an Islay single malt and consequently is a light, fresh dram. Now at the higher strength of 46.3% - for more complexity and flavour.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Fresh, sweet. Seaweed, malt.

Palate: Soft, supple. Sherry, nutty. A little sweetness, malty, juicy sultana. Slightly coastal.

Finish: Sherried, mochaccino, herbal, balanced salty tang.

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User Reviews of the Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old

Not bad

I decided to try Bunna 12 again after a long hiatus. I first game gave this dram a bad review, but I gave it another shot I have grown to appreciate it. It has a very distinct oily sherry tone that makes this one of the smoothest 12 years you will have. If you like bourbon and sherry...then this is your scotch.

27th November 2015


This bottle is good bottle. Tasting good.

17th September 2015

Its ok

Not a long finish. I wouldn't have guessed that peat is in there.. a higher ppm would have scewed this in the right diretion, in my opinion (and personal preference ofc).
That being said, it is a nice expression from Bunnahabhain worth trying, but nothing special.

3rd September 2015

can't be beat.

I find this to be one of best 12yr on the market right now. I'm having a glass as I write this. The nose is powerful. A lot of alcohol up front followed by a mild sweetness, diluted honey. Palate: It glides across the mouth like high thread count cotton sheets. Salty, smoky, a bit of dried fruit. Finish: long, spice, A deep complexity that seems to be constant flux. Rich and earthy.

3rd September 2015

It suits me fine

Very similar to Jura 16, which I also like. Sherry sweet to a degree I enjoy. I'll buy another Bunnahabhain if I can find it.

29th August 2015

forgot the rating...


22nd August 2015

My long tasting notes (I posted "Earned it's awards")

Similar to the chaps at M.O.M. (Cheers guys!)

My bar is temperature controlled, and UV protected. I used a stemmed (and stemless) glencairn, along with a port glass for this review-- after three 750ml bottles were eventually finished. I am mindful of humidity levels, upright storage (proper for whiskey), oxidization/rate of consumption, in-glass breathing, temperature, and clean tasting environments. I use a handwarming technique, I employ various palatting techniques and nosing positions. I never use scented or bar soap to wash my hands. I hand-wash my glasses to avoid dishwasher residue, double rinse with the whiskey itself that I'm going to pour-- unless water is desired (really good water, not all bottled water is acceptable to me). I am careful to remove the collar foil, and avoid finger contact with the cork when opening and closing. I'm mindful of what I eat and when I ate it before and after enjoying a whiskey, and I experiment with food pairings.

Nose: P.X. sherry imparts (butterscotch, toffee, meaty, nutty), coastal air, hazelnuts, broken-in leather, seaweed, toasted cereals, heather, Bunnahabhain's signature "metalic", aroma-- which on closer examination, breaks down into a combination of heather, florals and fruits. UNDERTONES OF: cornedbeef-stewed cabbage, figs, dates, Bartlett pears, cedar, oak, raw walnuts, hibiscus plant, chamomile tea, iodine, campfire smoke, molasses, cardamom, and an earthiness I can only describe as powdered cinnamon that's lost its potency from being in the spice cupboard for years.

Nose with water: doesn't transform in any unusual way, like some whiskies can. Nothing is hidden really, but the fresh fruits come out a bit clearer...butterscotch is more dominant.

Mouth-feel: overall, is somewhat drying, resinous.

Palate (entry): iodized table salt, sweet maritime freshness, fresh fruits, cereals, heather...vibrant, juicy sweet, and Salty!
Palate (middle): Hazelnuts-- big time! Heather becomes stronger, salt is still there but fades shortly into the middle. Dark spices, dried fruits, toasted malt, citrus (orange, tangerine) are the major notes here.
Palate (finish): loooong, salt returns and lingers with butterscotch and hazelnuts...heather continues on, and I get a whisp of campfire smoke, and a touch of iodine...oak is strong, but not too strong...just right.
Palate (aftertaste-- after the fireworks finish): salted roasted hazelnuts...resinous, sticky mouth-feel. Sherry imparts linger a long time and make themselves at home.

Overall: Not for diehard peat heads looking for the Laphroaig of years past. I would recommend this to anyone without such expectations-- it's an extraordinary sherried Islay that is so well balanced, I can't help but think that such perfection was made on accident (but with good intentions, of course). This is certainly one of the best 12s I've had, and a very loveable whiskey. One of only a few I can honestly say is not only flawless, but way ahead of its class. I've bought 5 bottles of this amazing single malt so far at $70 a piece. I'm interested in more of this, and G&M's Mortlach 15 as soon as I can afford it (and find it)...if Oregon would allow deliveries, I'd be a very good customer of M.O.M. (great prices and rep!)

22nd August 2015

Earned it's awards

For a 12 year old (and I'm not saying whiskies that aren't 21-29 years old are inferior by default...I simply mean compared to others in the 12 year age class)-- this simply doesn't get any better, only different. I'm an experienced and well read whiskey enthusiast, and know that 1st hand experience is far more valuable than reading tasting notes (so go buy one!). I use 3 palatting techniques (critical to experiment with!). I pay attention to what foods I eat might subtly affect a particular whiskey I sip even an hour or more after a meal, I pioneer food pairings as well...I'm no noobie, and I say that this is perfectly balanced, perfection in a bottle. About palatting techniques (briefly), find a very, very dry whiskey, and experiment with different palatting techniques until you can make it taste sweet-- because whatever flavors might be revealed in doing so, will only be enjoyed IF, you do so...experiment with various ways you sip, and swallow (never gulp even a small sip! Swallow it in 2-3 miniature intervals while palatting). Yes, that was the brief explanation, have fun learning the rest :) This is the best era Bunnahabhain has seen in a decade, I appreciate the fine attention to detail from this distillery lately-- it's never been better in my experience. Looong finish for a 12 too! Highly recommend even to those weary of Islays. :) I just finished my third bottle, with two more unopened.

22nd August 2015

FAO 'artificial'

I don't know what you regularly drink but this is about as natural and authentic as it gets. Unchill filtered and natural colour and an age statement as well. It might not rock yor socks but artificial it most definitely is not.

23rd June 2015

Not convinced

Before I get slammed I think this is a safe scotch. It is well balanced and smooth but just doesn't have that wow factor when you try it. It is good but there are better entry level drams available. Good but not great.

22nd May 2015

So well rounded what a surprise!

went to my local liquor store to get highland park 12 year but they were out so ended up getting bunnahabhain 12 year and I have to say this is a wonderful dram. I saw Islay on the bottle and thought this was going to be very peaty but was pleasantly surprised. tastes slightly smoky but not peaty more of a charred wood smoke with a lot of herbal bitterness and a hint of seaweed. the sherry is there but not so much that it takes away from the other flavors . all in allost well rounded scotch I think I've had tastes like everything I love about scotch in one bottle . this will have a permanent spot in my whisky cabinet

1st April 2015


Not as peaty as most other Islays. At first I was a little disappointed with the immediate taste lacking that classic taste of the sea, but the Bunna 12 has a great mouth feel with a smokiness that lingers with tastes of vanilla and honey almonds. It has a long finish, and when you add some water it really opens up some more of that peat/sea salt taste.

Very affordable and is a great Islay for any newbies to this type of scotch.

22nd March 2015


I'm the first to say reviews should never ever be scrutinized. But anyone reading this needs to know that this is basically a non-peated whisky, very much the exception to the Islay "rule". In fact, Bunnahabhain brings in fresh spring water from the source to avoid any that may have run thru a bog, and uses low-phenolic malted barley.

You obviously like your Islay peat, which is wonderful - I love them too - but saying Bunnahabhain tasted sherried is well... very correct! Sherry casks are employed at this distillery. Did you not see the tasting notes from the fine Chaps at Master of Malt?

Having any dram let you down is never good. While you may be disappointed, I don't think it was the whisky's fault. Hopefully you can find it a good home!

17th March 2015


I didn't like this scotch at all at first because of the sherry flavor. BUT I added a little water and tried it again. Water is key in bringing out the great flavors of this scotch. It has a very short finish, but is extremely smooth. There really isn't any smoke/peat flavor here...Bunnahabhain 12 has it's own flavor.

17th March 2015


After reading all the reviews I was excited to add this to my 30 bottle collection of mostly Islay scotches. I was extremely disappointing since this tasted just like a sherried bourbon. I couldn't even get down one glass because of the awful flavor. I will stick with my Laphroaig, Lagavullin, Smokehead, Ledaig, Ardbeg, and Bowmore in my normal rotation.

16th March 2015

Best value 12yo on the market

Without a doubt you will not find a more complex 12yo whisky on the market for this price. Money well spent. You won't be disappointed.
P.S- don't tell anyone else about this...I don't want them getting in on my supply;)

11th March 2015

Well Rounded, Bit of Everything

This has become my go-to dram when I am not looking for something specific (peat bomb, sherry bomb, etc). It is extremely well rounded; you get a bit of everything, and it works very well together. I hadn't tried it prior to the improvements (46.3%, no coloring, non-chill filtered), but from what I hear, those of you who weren't impressed before should really give this one another taste. Great.

10th March 2015

The Best 12 You'll Find

This is my go-to whisky, and I'm not ashamed to say it. No color and un-chillfiltered? Yes please! This has the maturity and complexity of a much older malt, a perfect balance of saltiness and sweet, and coastal characteristics that will take you right to the water's edge where the Bunnahabhain distillery sits.

An amazing taste experience for the price! Guaranteed you'll feel the salt air, hear the gulls, and smell the damp green hills when you escape in this beautiful dram. It's worth every penny!

Still on the fence? Order a sample from the chaps at Master of Malt!

4th March 2015


I rarely find fault with a scotch. Not sure this one falls into that category. it tastes industrial, false and even tacky. I taste molasses and not enough bite. I regret purchasing a bottle; a first for this scotch lover.

19th February 2015

Very nice indeed

I had my first taste of this last night and its my 5th Islay and I liked it the best of them all so far. The Laphroaig 10 and 18 are kind of single trick ponies, The Coal Ila 12 was great. The Ardbeg Corryvreckan is great as was the Kilchoman but I think the Bunnahabhain 12 is my favorite Islay now. Very little smoke and not a lot of typical over the top Islay flavor but very well rounded overall.

31st January 2015

Pure delight

One of the most tasteful of the 12-year old single malts. Sweet, caramel, hint of smoke, oak. Well matured and rich!!! Yummy!

19th January 2015

Exquisite Whisky!

Love this whisky. Can't say enough good about it.
The color is a gorgeous caramel. The nose is a pure delight, maple, orange, rosebuds, cinnamon and nutmeg.
The taste . . . a pure delight. Not as much peat as I like in an Islay but just a pleasure to drink. Similar to Highland Park 12, or Glenfiddich 18, which are two of my favorites. If I had a choice between the three . . . oh my! . . . might be this Bunnahabhain.

18th January 2015

Well done!

This is the first un-chillfiltered whisky that i tried. The taste explosion blew me away! The stuff is awesome with a slight bit of peat in the background. it really stands out for me, very well balanced, one of a kind and really worth a try.

5th January 2015


Oops, forgot to add star rating - 5* of course :)

30th December 2014


Interesting to read the varied reviews of Bunna 12YO - I think much is down to one's experience and expectations. I wouldn't say that it's one for malt whisky beginners nor for someone trying an Islay malt for the first time. Complex, unusual, rewarding, even 'burnt rubber' - it's all of those. I love it. I couldn't say which is my favourite Islay malt but Bunna 12YO is up there with Ardbeg, Caol Ila and Lagavulin. And much cheaper than any of those!

30th December 2014


This whisky is good start to discover the peat taste. It has only 1-2 ppm phenol. You will not be shocked, as I was for the first time tasted Lagavulin 16 (about 35-40 ppm) :)
Smooth and balanced drink. I recommend.

26th December 2014

Add to basket

Not much to find on the nose, just some salted caramel and sea air. However, the surprisingly smooth, every so sweet and smoky palate lends itself to a long buttery finish with subtle complexities. Overall a very enjoyable dram, with light peat and great finish! Not overly complex, but far from being one-noted. A superb whisky for the price!!

23rd December 2014

Trefor Barnes

What a delightful surprise. My wife and I visited Bunnahabhain whilst staying in Islag at the Laphroaig View Guest house. Since arriving back in South Australia, I have purchased two 12 year old Bunnahabhain Whisky bottles and I have introduced several people to this most excellent Whisky - smooth, lovely nose, lingering mellow aftertaste - thank you.

20th December 2014

My Favourite

By far my favourite single malt. Not to peaty and long lasting smooth finish. Can't say much more other than it is truly a sublime whisky! SP

14th December 2014



10th December 2014


i don't really like peat but I love this! Just a hint and well balanced with a touch of sweetness and spice.

15th November 2014

nice and complex

Much better than many flat 12 year old speysides and excellent value. I keep coming back to Bunna 12. - it just does it for me. Lovely long finish and bottled at 46%. It has all the Islay magic without much peat.

15th November 2014

Very tasty

very tasty

11th November 2014

Enjoyed immensely

You have to have some scotch experience to like this. Awesome in a word. Peat, salt, spice, with a cocoa/buttery textured finish.

6th November 2014

Very, very good whisky.

Just plain delicious. What more can be said.
Can't imagine a better whisky for the price . . . and even for double the price.
I am a Highland Park 12 lover (as well as several Islays) and this is right up there with the best of the best.
Glad I discovered it.

3rd November 2014

an ace!

Stunning quality and complexity at this age and price. An Islay malt which deserves much more attention. Add a little water and you'll be in malt heaven.

9th October 2014

Very Good

I am now half way through my second bottle of this amazing whisky. There is bags of flavour and for me it has just the right amount of peaty smoke. I love its sweet salty fruit freshness and the darker complex sherry undertones. One of those rare drams that you can't be without and great value bottled at over 46%.

8th October 2014


Sweet and hint of liqourice root. Warm and comforting

28th September 2014

Not Peated, but Amazing Sherry Spectacular

While I agree with many that Bunnahabhain 12 seems to have just a touch of peat, which melds perfectly with this sherry bomb of a whisky, according to the distillery it is actually unpeated. I struggle to believe it because it means all that smoky flavor in it comes purely from the wood.

20th September 2014

Well priced, well balanced

This dram offers good value for it's money. I love the amber color to start with. The body is light and rolls cleanly through your glass. On the nose, it's quite gentle, with both hints of seaside and meadowy landscapes. The palate reveals a smooth herbal sensation, ultimately resulting in a medium long finish characterized by a trace of pepper and more herbs. Definitely enjoyable whisky which is nicely accesable and friendly on the tongue.

29th August 2014

Very nice

£28 odd on offer at waitrose, really glad I picked it up, lovely :)

25th August 2014

It means...

... foot of the river

22nd August 2014

The name?

n anybody tell me what Bunnahabhain means?

19th August 2014

A beautiful dram

This has been a real discovery. I picked up a bottle while visiting Islay and have really enjoyed it. Rich, complex flavours with a beautiful, dark chocolate finish. I highly recommend it.

24th July 2014

My favourite

I don't know anyone who doesn't enjoy this. We have had many bottles and most expressions including a lovely 14 year old from Chieftain's Choice.#
Really enjoying the 25 year old at present.
Would like the old style bottle back with the older fisherman on the front as I liked it.

23rd June 2014

An excellent choice

I was given a bottle as a gift and really enjoyed it - a touch of peat but considerably less than most Islay malts. A lovely expression.

5th June 2014

Really quite bad

Bought this on the highest recommendation of First time he's lead me astry (so I assume that the fault lies with inconsistency at Bunnahabhain!)

This malt simply tastes rancid--like a cross between burnt rubber and rotting meat. It's completely undrinkable and I don't even think I could blend the off flavors away.

24th March 2014


A beautiful dram

11th March 2014

A different Islay

I picked this up along with the sister brand Deanston 12 when they were offered at a £10 discount at my local supermarket. They are both bottled unchillfiltered at over 46% and represent great value. The Bunna has more flavour and a fair degree of peat influence without it taking control. My only disappointment is a distinctly musty nose, but it is less obvious on the palate. All in all, a cracker of a single malt. I shall be ordering more at full price.

4th March 2014

One of the best from Islay Scottland!

Bunnahabhain 12 and Highland Park 12 always stay in my cabinets....

11th January 2014

Pretty good

If you like lightly peated, lightly sweet, this is a good drink. I love the extra alcohol burn, but it disguises some flavor. Worth trying but a bit pricey

18th December 2013

Life is just a bowl of Cornflakes

Life is a a bowl of cornflakes isn't it? Bunnahabhain own up to 1 million casks, all of which are on their 3rd or 4th use. The bunna 12 was the bottle which started my obsession/addiction to whisky many moons ago. Sadly, a visit to the distillery this year confirmed the crisis they are in - tired casks, maximum production reached, a lack of cask storage and infrastructure expenditure neglect have culminated in the drop in quality of this revered dram. I hope the new owners, Distell will create the turnaround. Until then, forget the 12, enjoy the 18 and cross fingers all will be well for the future.

5th November 2013


I'm new to Whisky but I've had enough experience to know great whisky exists and this isn't a great. Maybe older versions would be better to mellow out the alcohol sting idk. It's better with water but not something I'd recommend or buy again.

1st November 2013

Where's the malt?

Reminded me of a mild Brandy, too much sherry. I was disappointed because I paid $ 50 hoping to get some peat and smokey flavour but got none.

1st November 2013

A proper whisky

...lots going on and a completely different animal with just a splash of water...high up there on the flavour scale for the money and very refined...I dont give many a 10

24th October 2013

The more water, the better...

A deep amber colour for a 12 year old, with a good, medium body, leads to a rather disappointing and offensive nose. Orange peel and spices are evident, along with slight banana notes. The high alcohol content is very prominent in the nose.
To taste, initially it is smooth, however as soon as the whisky is allowed to settle on the palate, the bite is overwhelming. Adding water eases the bite and relaxes the palate to succumb to the almost non-existent finish.
In summary, an Islay Whisky that has none of the stereotypical characteristics of the well loved "Islay's"
Characterless and alcoholic.

6th October 2013

a bonfire by the seaside

a seaside breeze of salty peat followed by gentle smooth vanilla and a beautiful oily brininess of a mouth feel thanks to the no-chill filtration still vibrant and clean with note of citrus coming through and a slight nuttiness on the finish only a drop of water needed if any and after 10/15 minutes a caramel smell develops beautiful, a great whisky in my book, the reviewer above has obviously lost all sense of smell and taste especially if he/she can not smell that PEAT.

1st October 2013

Очень плохо, один из худших. Евгений из Украины

На вкус и запах как солодовая брага. Да, есть мягкость и херес угадывается, торфа и дыма нет вообще. Очень своеобразный и противный солод. Самый худший что я пил. Отзывы о нём сильно преувеличены. На любителя.

(Translation using Google translate: The taste and smell like malt brewed beer. Yes, there is a softness and sherry guessed, peat and smoke not at all. Very peculiar and nasty malt. The worst that I've been drinking. Feedback was greatly exaggerated. An amateur.)

8th June 2013

Free is good!!!!!

Got it as a present so it had a head start but have to say smooth as silk - a definite winner!

21st May 2013

One of my favourites malts

Tastes like Christmas.

14th May 2013


I will not be without this one. It is outstanding in its class/price.
The more I have drunk it the better i have liked it. I would have no hesitation in recomending it to you.

Johnny Norfolk

13th April 2013

Michael Chong

Setting my Easter , decided to have some and cork broke in the bottle. First cork that ever broke off In a whisky bottle for me. Other than a stopper in there now, should i make a fuss and take back to the store? Anyone else have this problem? I have hardly had more than 4-5 tots. Interested in your opinion. Mike - Ssouth Africa

1st April 2013

Not so bueno

We had a blind tasting of six different Islays. There were nine of us sampling all the drams and it was unanimous, the 12yo Bunnahabhain was the worst of the six. Burnt rubber was actually written on two separate note cards.

13th February 2013

Delightful dram

Beautiful details in the nose. Caramels and apricots. A touch of water opens it up and brings more smiles. No artificial coloring and not chill filtered, too. A great, great sip. The bottle empties quickly.

11th February 2013

Nice caramels, minimal peat

Creamy and smooth. An excellent value. I much prefer the Bunnahabhain 25 (10 out of 10!), but for far less money, you can get this and pretend it's the 25!

5th February 2013

Wolf Cairn Moor

I've a wee taste by the fire every evening; it is the best part of my day.

31st December 2012

Keep exploring this one!

Certainly a game of too halves.- neat it is strong and sherried - add a dash (more Like a drip!) and it becomes a smooth fruity Xmas pudding of a malt with a hint of vanilla hanging round the edges. Exceptional - and a bottle you want to keep exploring further to unearth its hidden flavours !

6th October 2012

League winner

One of the best single malts i have ever tasted, the bottle runs out far too quick though ;)

9th June 2012

One of the best

Jim Murray doesn't like it - but I think it's great. Plenty of punch and nice caramels. No peat but still an Islay great.

3rd June 2012

pablo adipas

This is the best malt i have ever drunk!Every sip from this brings back good old memories.Its aroma reminds me of wild peaches,wet smoke,cinnamon and the salty sea air.Without a doubt the king of malts.I need a drink now!

29th March 2012

Good one, but...

Sherried, black currant, lightly seaweed, nutty, smooth spices. A very different than older presentation, but not necessarily better. I have to mention, that when I have less than 1/5 bottle left, it suddenly started to taste very bitter and sulfuric. Maybe oxygen influence? I hope that was just a dud, because otherwise this is a great stuff.

29th February 2012


Beautiful, chust....

7th December 2011



4th October 2011

french red wine

with sherry touch - pronounced peat, that does not overwhelm the spicy, ftuity bodeaux- note, but still makes very clear it´s islay scotch of the finest

4th October 2011

french red wine

with sherry touch - pronounced peat, that does not overwhelm the spicy, ftuity bodeaux- note, but still makes very clear it´s islay scotch of the finest

4th October 2011

Chatting with Elvis

Definately the King of Malt

30th September 2011


Is he sitting on Shergar?

8th September 2011

Found at Last!

If you look closely you can see that without any doubt the character on the bottle is Lord Lucan in disguise. Surely the police can get him at last!

15th December 2009

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