Bunnahabhain Distillery Discovers Rare 40 YO Islay Single Malt
Islay whiskies are known for their peatiness, although not all the distilleries on the island produce this style – Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain have little or no peat in their standard expressions and Caol Ila produce an unpeated batch every year, while even the famously smoky Ardbeg has an unpeated expression, Blasda. Bunnahabhain is a village on the northeast coast of the isle of Islay, which is in the Argyll and Bute area of Scotland, in the Inner Hebrides group of islands. It is also the name of a Scotch whisky distillery located there. The distillery in the village produces The Bunnahabhain (Boon-a-havn) which is one of the milder single malt Islay whiskies available and its taste varies greatly from other spirits to be found on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland. The distillery was built in 1881 and sits below the northeast tip of the island just north of Port Askaig. It overlooks a narrow belt of water (the Sound of Islay) with a view of the neighbouring island of Jura (which also has a working distillery) and its famous hills, the “Paps of Jura”.
Islay malts are famously smoky, although, in truth this applies only to some of them – certainly to the makes from the south part of the island, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Port Ellen (distillery closed since 1983), and to the northern distillery, Caol Ila, but not to the makes from Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich, although the latter is now producing a heavily peated malt called Octomore and the medium-peated Port Charlotte. The tiny farm distillery at Kilchoman, which opened in late 2005, is also producing a highly smoky malt.
Mr. Ian MacMillan actually recognized the significance of the discovery after finding the ‘Turney’ casks, which were filled with the precious Bunnahabhain malt over 40 years ago by noted wine merchants from Glasgow, J G Turney. And to capture the extraordinary journey, the renowned illustrator Ian Mclntosh has been commissioned by Bunnahabhain to retrace the voyage through the specially designed labels. Limited to just 750 bottles which will be hand signed and individually numbered, each bottle priced at $3,195 will be presented in a bespoke oak gift box containing a secret compartment that reveals hidden designs replicating the ‘Journey of Discovery.’