Bunnahabhain Distillery

  • Scotland
  • https://bunnahabhain.com/
Phone Number
  • +44 (0) 1496 840 557
  • Port Askaig, PA46 7RP, Isle of Islay

Bunnahabhain Distillery on seashore under clear skies.

History of Bunnahabhain Distillery

Bunnahabhain Distillery was founded in 1881, situated on the shores of the Sound of Islay. The distillery initially relied on sea trade, with its small village, pier, and whisky-making expertise. Supplies were received by boat, and whisky was sent back to the mainland in casks. The distillery experienced a short closure in the 1930s but underwent significant changes in 1960 with the construction of a new road, facilitating easier land access for supplies.

Growth Phases Bunnahabhain Distillery

In 1963, due to increasing demand for Bunnahabhain whisky, a second pair of stills was installed to boost production capacity. The distillery introduced its classic 12-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky in 1979, which was well-received globally.

Further developments occurred in 1993 when the last boat docked at the distillery, marking a shift to road transportation as the primary means for receiving supplies. In 2006, three years after being acquired by Burn Stewart Distillers, Bunnahabhain underwent a major rebranding, which included redesigned packaging for the 12-year-old whisky and the launch of 18 and 25-year-old variants.

Innovation and Evolution of Bunnahabhain Distillery

The distillery continued to innovate and improve its products, returning to non-chillfiltered whiskies with natural color at 46.3% abv in 2010. In 2014, Burn Stewart merged with Distell, leading to more investments in both the brand and the distillery itself. The packaging was modernized again in 2017, and the product portfolio was expanded. In 2021, Bunnahabhain opened a new Visitor Centre.

Bunnahabhain Distillery’s Whiskey Production

Bunnahabhain offers a range of whiskies, including its signature unpeated Islay Single Malt Whisky. While the distillery is known for its unpeated whisky, it also produces peated whiskies, reminiscent of its 19th-century origins when its malts were strongly peated.

For those who prefer a smoky flavor, Bunnahabhain offers peated editions under the name “Mòine”. The distillery is also known for experimenting with different casks for maturing and finishing their whiskies, continuously offering new and interesting variants to whisky enthusiasts.


Bunnahabhain Distillery’s Tour Information and Experience

Bunnahabhain Distillery offers a captivating experience for whisky enthusiasts through its various tours and tastings. Below are the experiences available:

Warehouse 9 Distillery Experience

The Warehouse 9 tasting is one of the most popular tours at Bunnahabhain. It’s a must-visit for whisky lovers visiting Islay. Participants can enjoy an exclusive tasting of delightful whisky taken straight from the cask.

Whisky Tastings

Bunnahabhain offers whisky tastings where participants can discover more about the distillery’s unpeated and sherried house style. Alternatively, guests can choose to taste something different from Bunnahabhain’s range.

The tastings are held in the new Visitor Centre, which boasts spectacular views across the Sound of Islay, providing a scenic backdrop for enjoying a dram.

Distillery Tours

For those interested in learning about the distillation process and the making of Bunnahabhain whisky, the distillery tours offer a deep dive into the craft and tradition of whisky making at Bunnahabhain. These tours provide insights into the distillery’s operations and the meticulous process of crafting their renowned whisky.

Before planning your visit, it’s advisable to check the availability and schedule of these experiences as they might vary.

Flask & Barrel Review of Bunnahabhain Distillery

Having traversed through numerous distilleries in my quest for the quintessential whiskey experience, my journey led me to the Bunnahabhain Distillery, a gem nestled on the pristine shores of Islay. The quaint and charming ambiance of the distillery immediately caught my fancy as I was warmly welcomed by the congenial staff.

The tour commenced with a riveting narrative of the distillery’s rich history, engagingly told by our savvy guide. His extensive knowledge and witty banter kept us entertained as we meandered through the vintage corridors filled with the heady aroma of maturing whiskey. The time-honored tradition of whiskey-making was alive in every nook and cranny, whispering tales of meticulous craftsmanship.

Now, being an ardent whiskey collector, the tasting session was the pièce de résistance of my visit. The array of distinct flavors and the sheer quality of the drams were nothing short of spectacular. Each sip was a harmonious blend of tradition, craftsmanship, and the unique Islay terroir, transporting me to different eras of whiskey perfection.

A slight hiccup was the gift shop, which, although well-stocked, was a tad on the pricey side. But then again, quality comes at a price, and the exclusive selections were worth every penny for a whiskey aficionado like myself.

As I bid adieu to Bunnahabhain with a heart full of delightful memories and a case of exquisite whiskey, I couldn’t help but give it a well-deserved rating of 4.7 out of 5. The camaraderie, the lore, and the heavenly drams have etched an indelible mark on my whiskey-laden heart, making Bunnahabhain a must-visit for anyone with a penchant for fine spirits.

What To Do Nearby Bunnahabhain Distillery

Caol Ila Distillery: Just a short drive from Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila Distillery offers another perspective on Islay’s famous whisky production. With stunning views across the Sound of Islay to the Paps of Jura, it’s a must-visit for whisky enthusiasts.

Ardnahoe Distillery: The newest distillery on Islay, Ardnahoe, offers tours, tastings, and stunning views of the Sound of Islay and the Paps of Jura. It’s a great addition to the island’s whisky scene.

Persabus Pottery and Ceramic Cafe: A creative stop where you can unwind, enjoy some tea or coffee, and even paint your own ceramics. It’s a perfect place for a relaxing afternoon, with beautiful views to boot.

Jura Boat Tours: For those looking to explore beyond Islay, Jura Boat Tours offers a fantastic way to see the local wildlife, including seals, gannets, and sea eagles, all while enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Hebrides.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Bunnahabhain Distillery?

Lochindaal Seafood Kitchen: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at 07483123639. They are located in Port Charlotte. To get directions, click here.

The Lochside Hotel & Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1496 810244. Their address is 20 Shore St, Bowmore, Isle of Islay PA43 7LB, United Kingdom. To get directions, click here.

An Tigh Seinnse: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1496 860725. Their address is 11 Queen Street, Portnahaven, United Kingdom. To get directions, click here.

What hotels are near Bunnahabhain Distillery?

Bridgend Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1496 810212. Their address is Isle of Islay PA44 7PB, United Kingdom. To get directions, click here.

The Lochside Hotel & Restaurant: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1290 333000. Their address is New Cumnock KA18 4PN, United Kingdom. To get directions, click here.

The Islay Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps.
For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +44 1496 300109. Their address is 19 Charlotte St, Port Ellen, Isle of Islay PA42 7DF, United Kingdom. To get directions, click here.