Bunnahabhain

Bhoo-na-ha-phin, from ‘Bun na h-Abhainn’, meaning ‘foot of the river’

Bhoo-na-ha-phin, from ‘Bun na h-Abhainn’, meaning ‘foot of the river’

Bunnahabhain is a picturesque seaside Islay distillery who’s name derives from the Gaelic ‘Bun na h-Abhainne’, meaning ‘mouth of the river’. The distillery is several miles north of Caol Ila, positioned on the Sound of Islay and overlooking the Isle of Jura. Bunnahabhain was built in 1883 by the Islay Distillery Company, and unlike Caol Ila, there was no connection by road with all supplies to the remote distillery being brought in by the famous Clyde Puffers. There’s a very good chance that that Bunnahabhain would have been Para Handy’s dram of choice! The last Puffer docked at the distillery as late as 1993.

In 1960, a small single-track road was completed allowing a steady flow of grain, and due to growing demand a second pair of stills were installed shortly after in 1963. In 2010, the whisky was produced without chill filtration, colouring, and bottled at 46%. Bunnahabhain is now owned by the South African company Distell, who have plans to expand the distillery, refurbish the equipment and open a purpose-built visitor centre.

Unlike the other Islay malts, Bunnahabhain is unpeated, although the occasional peated batch is distilled and marketed as ‘Moine.