Bunnahabhain Distillery

Bunnahabhain was established in 1883 on the whisky Isle of Islay. It’s situated on the north east coast of the island overlooking the Sound of Islay which is the narrow strip of water between Islay and the Isle of Jura. This coastal location was critical to the success of the distillery, ensuring supplies could be shipped in and whisky shipped out. It was the main supply route until a new road was built in the 1960’s.

Unusually for an Islay distillery , Bunnahabhain mainly produces non peated whisky using the tallest stills on the island. It does produce some peated styles, known as moine (Gaelic for peated).

On each bottle of Bunnahabhain single malt whisky there is a picture of a helmsman at the wheel of a boat. The sea has and continues to play a strong role in the distillery's heritage. The Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair expression celebrates this ... Stiùireadair means helmsman in Gaelic.

Botanist Gin is also made at the distillery. This gin uses 22 Islay botanicals including applemint, hawthorn, birch, camomile and of course juniper. These are all foraged  for on the island in a sustainable way.

Bunnahabhain Distillery Tours and Tastings

In normal times the distillery offers a range of tour types and whisky tastings and it may be that they come back again in the future. These include a one hour Warehouse Experience involving whisky tasting straight from the cask. There was also a gine tasting expeience. The Botanist Experience was all about gin including its history, production and botanicals. Part of the experience was a tasting with the opportunity to make your own cocktails.

Bunnahabhain Distillery is currently offering online whisky tastings at key times in the Scottish Calendar including St Andrews Day, Hogmanay and Burn’s Night. These involve paying for a sample pack which is then sent out to you. A zoom link is also provided. There are now a number of distilleries offering online whisky tastings.

Bunnahabhain Distillery is not the easiest place to get to and requires a bit of planning. The distillery provides some travel advice on its website. The distillery is one of a collection of Islay distilleries which includes Bowmore, Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg distilleries. 

See the Islay Whisky Tour page for more itinerary ideas.

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