About Bunnahabhain 33 Year Old Single Malt Scotch (James MacArthur Bottling)
Founded in 1881, Bunnahabhain (pronounced "BOO-na-HAven") Distillery is situated along the banks of the Sound of Islay in the Inner Herbidies archipelago. For over a generation, the distillery was only accessible by sea, and a large port, costing approximately £3,500 pounds at the time, was constructed in order to allow ships to unload barley and yeast near the distillery and load finished casks of whisky ready for sale. While technological improvements have made it easier to get to the distillery over the last century, little has changed in terms of Bunnahabhain distillation process.
Bunnahabhain Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from fresh Optic barley, which is lightly peated to approximately 3 phenol parts per million. Once the barley arrives at the distillery, it is milled and mashed with pure spring water drawn from the Margadale River. The water, which travels through an ancient bed of limestone, is transported by pipeline to the distillery and as a result, avoids travelling through the peatbogs of Islay.
Once the barley has been mashed, it is fermented in washbacks made of Oregon Pine for nearly three days. While wooden washbacks are more expensive and difficult to maintain as compared to stainless steel washbacks, they absorb a portion of the heat generated during the fermentation process and thus, create a lighter and more rich whisky. Following fermentation, the wash is distilled twice, first through Bunnahabhain's copper-pot wash still and again through its copper-pot spirit still. Then, the heads and tails of the distillate are removed by Robin Morton, Bunnahabhain's stillman (Morton began working at the distillery in 1978), before the whisky is allowed to mature at Bunnahabhain's warehouse. The sea-facing warehouse, which rests on the banks of the Sound of Islay, enjoys a cool, salty breeze that adds a touch of salt to the whisky as it ages. "Over the years, you get this slight salty taste," says Andrew Brown, Bunnahabhain's distillery manager. "The older the whisky gets, the saltier it becomes. It's not overpowering — it's just a hint."
James MacArthur's Bunnahabhain 33 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky was distilled in 1980 and matured in an American oak cask that was previously used to age bourbon. After a 33 year beauty rest, the whisky was bottled in 2013 at 90 proof without the use of chill filtration or any artificial coloring. The whisky has an aroma of ripe apples, meadow flowers, honey and roasted peanuts. The aroma gives way to notes of milk chocolate, applesauce, vanilla and rich caramel on the palate. The finish is elegant and full, with hints of citrus and ripe, tropical fruits. Only a handful of bottles of this single malt exist. Pick one up today!
In Gaelic, Bunnahabhain stands for ‘mouth of the river’. Situated at the mouth of the Margadale Spring on the shore of the Sound of Islay, nested between the remote islands of Islay and Jura, Bunnahabhain was founded in 1883. Still today, sea trade and a daring spirit – at the beginning, the distillery received supplies by boat as there was no main road and building the distillery in such a remote area mustn’t have been an easy feat, either – are still at the heart of the Single Malts production, even though the last puffer boats docked in 1993 as a new main road was built in the 1960s.
Today, Bunnahabhain whiskies are once again non-chill filtered and have a natural color at 46.3% ABV to honor the way whisky was made on-site at the very beginning. In 2014, Bunnahabhain was purchased by Burn Stewart that later merged with Distell. This brought more investment and extended the portfolio range of beloved single malts to much delight from fans and critics alike.
Scotch is the most popular whisky in the world and is considered the king of them all! There are five whisky regions in Scotland (six if you count the not officially recognized Islands), and each of them produces spirits with unique properties and distinct tasting notes. (The type of grain used determents the type of the scotch.)
Malt whisky is made of malted barley, and grain whisky uses other grains like corn or wheat. Most of the time, a whisky is blended from different distilleries hence the name blended scotch, but if a malt whisky is produced in a single distillery, we get something extraordinary called a single malt.
Check out our impressive selection of scotch whiskies, find your new favorite in the Top 10 scotch whiskies, or explore our treasury of rare & hard to find scotch whiskies.