Built in 1881 in the midst of the Scottish “whisky boom”, Bunnahabhain is located on the north-east of the Isle of Islay. The stillhouse houses two magnificent pear-shaped stills that produce a heavy spirit that generally has low levels of peat. Owned by the Burn Stewart Distillers group since May 2003, Bunnahabhain recently began releasing extremely peaty and smoky young whiskies through independent bottlers.
This independent bottler is without a doubt one of the most highly acclaimed in Scotland. It stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks – carefully chosen for the purpose – filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.