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Bunnahabhain 12 year old review

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Bunnahabhain distillery is a good divergent from the region of Islay, because their whiskies are usually lightly peated. Like this entry level Bunnahabhain 12 year old, which nowadays comes in a redesigned bottle and at higher strength. It is also declared to be un-chill filtered and natural coloured.

Bunnahabhain 12 year old single malt whisky review

Photo by Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain has the tallest stills of the distilleries on Islay, which partly explains the light, fruity and nutty characters they produce. Only 20% of the whisky produced at the distillery is being used for their own single malt whiskies, while 80% goes for blends. The Bunnahabhain 12YO is matured in a combination of Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry casks.

Smooth and rock steady, like a HIGH NOON malt

Well, what can I say about Bunnahabhain 12 year old single malt whisky? Nothing bad for sure. This is a steady whisky, well in balance. Like tasting a dram from Speyside, except having the air feel of the Islay region in the nose. Smooth and balanced in every step, with some complexity as well.

Bunnahabhain 12YO is as steady as an old school Hollywood actor. Will Kane (played by Gary Cooper) from the movie High Noon comes to mind. Like Marshall Kane calmly stepping around his own town, this Bunnahabhain is also giving you the feel that everything is going to be all right.

Matured in:
Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Sherry casks
Colour: Golden amber
Nose: Like sweet wine with peat. Fresh breeze of Islay air is strongly present, without the smoke though. Malt with mild sherry notes and toffee.
Taste: A nice mix of wine and sherry. Sweet palate turns nicely spicy with time. Nutty, with raisins and juicy fresh dark fruits.
Finish: Sweet wine and spices going well together. Salty as well. Malt along with sherry and roasted coffee.
Balance: Like mentioned before, everything is in order. Bunnahabhain 12YO is a very consistent dram, not offering any big surprises, yet being good all the way – still, a rich dram. Subtle and bit complex, was this whisky from Speyside?


Distillery: Bunnahabhain Region: Islay Non-chill filtered, no added color ABV: 46.3%

Tasting video by Burn Stewart:

Ralfy surely loves the updated version of Bunnahabhain 12YO, “a quiet classic Islay Single Malt just go classier with 46.3% vol, No-Chill filtration & Natural Colour too. Ralfy approves with 91/100”

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.

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