and pepperFinish: lingering hints of gentle smoke and crisp spice.
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
MOINE BORDEAUX RED WINE CASK MATURED
Almost 10 year
Warehouse: No 8
Distillation Date: 18/12/08
Bottling Date: 26/02/18
Distillery Manager: Andrew Brown
Natural Colour Un – Chillfiltered
The Bunnahabhain Distillery, Isle of Islay
In a first for our Islay malt, we have fully matured our Moine in Bordeaux red wine casks
creating a deep red , golden liquid. Rich fruit and grape on the nose, with a taste of
toffee and balanced with pepper and smoke.
We lef tour peated Moine whisky slumbering in our coastal warehouse for although a decade
in Bordeaux Red Wine casks to craft this unique malt with a rich grape influence.
Bunnahabhainhas the tallest stills on Islay and is the only distillery on the island to pro –
duce whisky using pure spring water, which keeps the spirit uniquely light without
losing its complexity.
“The adventurous spirit which led tot the discovery of Bunnahabhain Bay also drives our
inovations, and so for the first time in Bunnahahain history, we have taken our Moine
and fully matured it in Boreaux Red Wine casks for a delicious taste of sweet smoke.”.
Andrew Brown Distillery Manager.
Built in 1881, our distillery was once only accessible by seafarers on puffer boats, who
braved the vast stretch of sea to deliver supplies, including new casks and in turn
collect our precious whiskies for delivery to other shores.
Tot this day we remain tucked away on the most remote corner of Islay, but we never
stop searching the world for the perfect casks to complement our whiskies. Bunnahabhain
although the original un – peated Islay malt has become known for its Moine (meaning
peated in Scots Gaelic). For the first time we have taken the opportunity to fully mature our
beloved Moine in red wine casks from the Bordeaux region of France. This inspired pairing
has given us a unique and stuning fusion of rich grape and peppery smoke notes which
combine to deliver a long and warming fruity finish.
Colour: Deep red gold
Nose: Rich fruit and grape, hints of nut, rich oak, toffee and espresso balanced with pepper
Palate: Layered with rich grape and red wine influence, hints of toffee, chocolate and to-
bacco, developing into a warming peppery smoke.
Finish: Long and lingering combination of fruit and smoke.
Port Askaig, Islay, Argyll. Licentiehouders: The Highland Distillers Pic.
Bunnahabhain werd gebouwd in 1881, in opdracht van de gebroeders Greenlees, die hier boerden en door het bouwen van een distilleerderij de opbrengst van de door hun verbouwde gerst konden verbeteren.
De plaats was afgelegen, moerasland en onbewoond, maar er was uitstekend water en turf voorhanden.
Het water, afkomstig van de Margadale bron stroomt via de Margadale rivier 250 meter verder in de Sound of Islay, die Islay scheidt van Jura.
Bunnahabhain is Keltisch voor 'monding aan de rivier'. De naam van de onderneming was Islay Distillery Company.
Vanaf het begin was Bunnahabhain ontworpen als een distilleerderij met een hoge produktie, vooral bedoeld voor blenders te Glasgow.
Als malt whisky werd Bunnahabhain voor het eerst uitgebracht, met 12 jaar als leeftijd in 1979.
Vanwege de afgelegen plek moest er niet alleen een distilleerderij worden gebouwd, maar ook huizen, een verenigingslokaal voor het personeel en een school voor hun kinderen. Ook moest er een verbindingsweg worden aangelegd vanaf de hoofdweg van Bridgend naar Port Askaig en een pier, waaraan schepen konden aanmeren. De laatste kostte alleen al £ 3500. De totale kosten voor het geheel werden begroot op 30.000 pond
Het was een schoolvoorbeeld van Victoriaanse industrialisering.
Kort voor de voltooing werd de distilleerderij grotendeel door een wervelstorm verwoest, twee stoomboilers die op het strand lagen om geinstalleerd te worden werden over de Sound of Islay heen geworpen op de kust van Jura.
Bunnhabhain werd opgeleverd in 1882. Het gebouwencomplex omringt een besloten binnenplaats met een poort naar buiten. Ook Bruichladdich kreeg deze vorm.
Robertson & Baxter werden benoemd tot verkoopagenten met een provisie van twopence per gallon.
Het eerste half jaar van Bunnahabhain leverde een winst op van £ 5000, dat was een rendement van 23 %, het volgende jaar was dat £ 10.000.
De directie was zo ingenomen met hun manager Mr. Smith, dat hij zijn eigen salaris kon vaststellen, hij vroeg en kreeg £ 350, betaalde geen huur, verwarming en licht, kreeg een stuk grond om een koe te houden en kreeg £ 30 betaald voor meubilair!
Mede dank zij de aanmoediging van Robertson & Baxter, de grootste afnemer van de whisky, fuseerde de Islay Distillery Company in 1887 met Glenrothes - Glenlivet Distillery van W. Grant, en vormden zo de Highland Distilleries Ltd.
Samen konden de twee distilleerderijen 1,800.000 liter spirit per jaar produceren. Maar de jaren van voorspoed kwamen tot een einde, ingeluid door het bankroet van de blenblenders, de gebroeders Pattison te Leith in 1898.
De samenwerking tussen Robertson & Baxter duurde voort, waarbij Robertson & Baxter voor de verkoop zorgde en Highland Distillers Ltd voor de produktie, beiden bleven onafhankelijk van elkaar.
In 1922 moest Robertson & Baxter, als gevolg van de drooglegging in de Verenigde Staten zijn gehele voorraad whisky verkopen en hun belangrijkste whiskymerk 'Pinch' van hun dochteronderneming Haig & Haig.
Kopers waren Buchanan - Dewar, de Distillers Compnay Ltd, (D.C.L). en John Walker & Sons.
De aandelen die R & B had in de Caol Ila distilleerderij kwamen in de handen van Dewar's, John Walker & Sons en W.P. Lowrie.
Zo groot was de crisis, dat zo goed als alle ondernemingen in de whiskyindustrie met baargeld problemen, en dat waren er heel veel, ophielden te bestaan, of werden overgenomen door de almachtige Distillers Company Ltd, al of niet in samenwerking met de 'Big Three', Dewar's, Buchanan en Walker. Architect van deze gang van zaken was de directeur van de D.C.L. William Henry Ross (1862 - 1944).
In 1925 fuseerden deze 'Big Three', de leiding kreeg William Henry Ross. John Haig was in 1924 al gefuseerd met de D.C.L.
Robertson & Baxter ging niet ten onder, maar zocht en vond wegen om whisky via smokkelaars te blijven exporteren naar Amerika, vooral via Canada en de Bahama's.
Een heel belangrijke schakel was Berry Bross te Londen, die met hun merk Cutty Sark, geblend door Robertson & Baxter, sinds 1923 (en nog steeds) een heel sterk en goed verkochte whisky hadden dat Amerika werd binnengebracht door Captain Bill McCoy via Nassau.
McCoy had een zo grote reputatie opgebouwd, door alleen goede produkten te leveren dat Cutty Sark werd verkocht als 'the real McCoy', iets wat ze na de beëindiging van de droog-legging een enorme voorsprong gaf op concurenten.
Gedurende de tweede wereldoorlog was Bunnahabhain gesloten.
Slechts 44 distilleerderijen bleven geopend in 1942, waarvan de whisky hoofdzakelijk naar Amerika werd verkocht om de nodige Dollars te verdienen ten behoeve van de regering.In 1945 ging Bunnahabhain weer in produktie. In 1975 werd Bunnahabhain uitgebreid met twee ketels tot vier met een produktie capaciteit van 1,2 miljoen liter spirit per jaar.Tengevolge van overcapaciteit sloot Bunnahabhain in Maart 1982 en 15 banen gingen verloren. Zes man bleven aan het werk voor onderhoud, de overigen hoefden geen huur te betalen en kregen brandstof voor niets.
De produktie van malt whisky was gekrompen van 83,7 % van de produktie capaciteit in 1978 tot 38,6 % in 1982. Er waren toen 116 distilleerderijen met datzelfde probleem in Schotland.
In 1984 kwam er weer een opleving voor de whiskyindustrie, de export van blended whisky steeg met 1 %, maar maltwhisky met 25 %.
De Italianen zetten de toon door 51 % meer malt whisky te drinken dan het jaar ervoor, ze zouden jarenlang de grootste malt whisky drinkers per persoon ter wereld blijven.
5 % van de produktie van Bunnahabhain wordt verkocht als een single malt whisky, de overige whisky gaat vooral in de blends The Famous Grouse en Black Bottle.
De mout komt van Port Ellen. De gebruikte mout wordt niet boven turf gedroogd, maar met hete lucht. Het enigzins ziltige komt van het gebruikte water en de plaats waar de whisky rijpt. Het water komt van de Margadale Hills.De Mash tun is 12,5 ton. De zes Wash backs zijn elk 66.500 liter. De twee Wash stills zijn elk 30.000 liter, de twee Spirit stills elk 15.000 liter, ze worden indirect met stoom verhit.
Sinds 2002 is Bunnahabhain 'Home of Black Bottle'. De distilleerderij kat heet Zeus.
The Highland Distilleries Plc, eigenaars van Bunnahabhain, werden in 1887 gevormd door het samengaan van Bunnhabhain met de Glenrothes - Glenlivet distilleerderij van W. Grant.
Doel was om single malt whiskies te gaan leveren aan onafhankelijke blenders, als tegenwicht tenopzichte van de toen steeds machtiger wordende Distillers Company Ltd. (D.C.L.).
De eerste directeur was W.A. Robertson, stichter van Robertson & Baxter in 1857 te Glasgow, whiskyblenders en handelaren.
In 1892 werd Glenglassaugh gekocht, Tamdhu in 1898 en Highland Park in 1937.
In 1948 werden aandelen gekocht in Robertson & Baxter, blenders van o.a. Cutty Sark, eigendom van Berry Bros & Rudd (1690).
Robertson & Baxter zijn zelf eigenaars van Lang Brothers en hun Glengoyne distilleerderij In 1970 werd Gloag & Son Limited, de blenders van The Famous Grouse hun eigendom.
In 1988 was er een management buy-out en in 1990 betaalde The Highland Distillers Plc £ 75,9 000.000 aan Orphar, de controlerende onderneming van Remy Martin en Cointreau, wat ze een belang van 20 % in het aandelenkapitaal gaf.Tegelijkertijd verkocht The Highland Distilleries Plc zijn 12,7 belang in The Macallan aan Orphar en verwierf voor £ 31,3 000.000 de Glenturret distilleerderij van Cointreau.
In Oktober 1999 laat Highland Distillers weten te zijn benaderd over een mogelijk overname bod .De beurswaarde komt uit op £ 462 miljoen, is ruim 1,5 miljard gulden.
William Grant & Sons Ltd (van Glenfiddich, The Balvenie? Kininvie en Convalmore, en ook de eigenaars van Girvan Grain Distillery, met vroeger de Ladyburn malt distilleerderij binnen zijn poorten) heeft 30 % van het aandelenkapitaal van Highland Distillers gekocht.
70 % van het aandelenkapitaal is in handen van Edrington, de eigenaars van Glengoyne, blenders van Cutty Sark en 50 % bezitten van Matthew Gloag, de blenders van The Famous Grouse.
Suntory, eigenaars van Morrison's Bowmore (met ook Auchentoshan en Glengarioch) heeft zijn belang van 25 % in The Macallan verkocht aan William Grant & Sons en Edrington.
2002 William Grant & Sons (Glenfiddich) toont belangstelling in de aankoop van Bunnahabhain, maar dat gebeurt niet
2003 In April verkoopt Edrington Bunnahabhain en het merk Black Bottle aan Burn Stewart Distilleries (CL. Worl Brands) voor £ 10 miljoen
2004 Bunnahabhain experimenteert in 1998-1999 met het produceren van een geturfrookte malt whisky. Voor het eerst uitgebracht als een 6 jaar oud, de naam: Moine
2005 Kapaciteit: 2.500.000 liter spirit per jaar
The windswept, yet fertile, island of Islay lies out in the Atlantic beyond the Mull of Kintyre, the most southerly of the Hebridean islands. Since it was acquired by Daniel Campbell of Shawfield, a wealthy Glasgow merchant and Member of Parliament for the City, the landscape of the island has been transformed by the efforts of successive lairds to improve agriculture and create employment in a variety of rural industries.
Distilling commercially has been part of the fabric of Islay life since the end of the eighteenth century. Its whiskies were similar in character to the strongly flavoured malts of Campbeltown, which emerged as the largest single centre of the industry in Scotland after the reforms in 1822 and 1823 made illicit distilling a thing of the past. Several distilleries were built on Islay at that time, notably Bowmore re-established in 1825 by John Johnston who also worked Lagavulin, and Laphroaig opened by Donald Johnston in the following year. Although very small, these distilleries soon became an integral part of the island's economy, providing an outlet for the locally grown four-row barley, known as bere, supplying draff for cattlefeed, and giving employment to many families for cutting and carting peats. With the widescale development of blending from the 1860s, Islay whiskies were much in demand as they imparted a distinctive flavour to individual blends.
MATTHEW GLOAG & SON, LTD , PERTH
The Scotch whisky trade was booming as people switched to drinking the newly fashionable blended whisky, away from brandy and sherry, whose reputations had been sullied by the phylloxera disease that had ravished European vineyards. Throughout Scotland, distilleries were enlarged or established to cater for the seemingly insatiable demand.
On 26 March, 1881, the Oban Times reported from Port Askaig:
Two new distilleries are likely to be erected in Islay during the course of the year - one at Bunnahahhain, near Caol Ila, and the other at Bruichladdich, near Port Charlotte; the former by the Islay Distillery Company and the latter by Mr Harvey, Dundas Hill, Glasgow. Tins is good news, as more work brings fuller pockets.
The decision to build the new distillery in the Sound of Islay almost certainly stemmed from the close relationship between Robertson & Baxter and Bulloch, Lade & Co, the owners of Caol Ila and the Benmore distillery in Campbeltown. W.A. Robertson admired the distinctly flavoured Caol Ila malt which ideally suited the needs of his many blending customers. Although the ground behind Bunnahabhain Bay in 1880 was completely desolate moorland, its chief attraction for the partners in the Islay Distillery Company was an abundant supply of fresh peaty water tumbling down a burn from Loch Staoinsha, and its situation on the shore of the Sound of Islay making it accessible to coastal shipping.
The ground at Bunnahabhain had been finally purchased for £2,000 from Charles Morrison's Islay Estates in August 1880, but work did not begin until the following spring on the ambitiously planned new distillery incorporating all the latest labour-saving devices and with a capacity of ? gallons a year. Unlike either Bruichladdich or the extension in progress at Caol Ila, both of which were constructed of cement - a novel building material - Bunnahabhain was to be in the traditional manner of locally quarried stone.
The company appointed a Campbeltown firm, Ferguson & Watson, as their contractors in the expectation that distilling could begin at the opening of the 1882/83 season. The steamer Islay arrived at the site on 6 May 1881 with a quantity of wood to be used in the erection of temporary huts for the workmen and within days about fifty men were digging and quarrying. Apart from the distillery building itself, a mile long road had to be laid up the steep cliff to join the track from Port Askaig, a pier had to be constructed out into the fast flowing Sound of Islay, and houses put up for the workforce and the excisemen. The total cost was estimated at some £0.
The������i@��x��0��@0��along the beach, he became thirsty and began to look for fresh water. Finding a small spring bubbling up through the shingle, he tried to open it with his hands and in so doing, uncovered a small box with a loose lid. On opening it he was confronted with 'the strange spectacle of a number of human bones blackened with age, and mouldering in decay'. Unnerved by what appeared to be the evidence of a secret burial, or even murder, the navvies at the site were relieved to learn that the box had probably been buried by a local sea captain who had been left the bones by a doctor who had gone abroad. By the end of October, the contractors were sufficiently pleased with progress to entertain the hundred workmen at work on the site at Port Askaig Hotel 'in a handsome and liberal manner'.
Only five weeks later a gale of almost hurricane force struck the west coast of Scotland, damaging the half-completed structure and sweeping two large steam boilers that had just been unloaded, off the beach across the Sound of Islay onto the Jura shore. Undaunted the partners and their contractors set to work to make good the damage.
When completed the following year, Bunnahabhain distillery was much admired. Writing five years later, Alfred Barnard, author of Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom, was flattering in his praise for its well-conceived labour-saving design:
'The Distillery proper is a fine pile of buildings in the form of a square and quite enclosed. Entering by a noble gateway one forms an immediate sense of the compactness and symmetrical construction of the work.
The southern wing is four storeys in height, the ground floor being occupied as a Warehouse, the second and third floors as Malt Barns, and the upper floor as a Grain loft. The barley is raised to the Granary by the means of Elevators driven by steam, and propelled by a screw working within a case, to any part of the Loft; the discharge being provided for by an adjustment of the openings of the case. The malt is likewise conveyed to the kilns in a similar manner and much waste of grain is thus prevented, as barrows are entirely dispensed with... At the eastern end of the Loft is the Steep, from which the moistened grain can be passed down to the Malt floors by simply raising some movable plates in the bottom. Two spacious Kilns occupy the angle of the building and instead of the old fashioned close brick fire-places, they are furnished with open chauffeurs, from which the heated air ascends to the floor on which the malt is spread; this floor is of wire netting covered with hair cloth. Nothing but peat is used in the Kilns which is dug in the district and is of exceptionally fine quality. A large quantity of this peat is always kept stored, so that only that which has become thoroughly matured is used; this is a very important consideration in drying with malt, as well-seasoned peat is free from the sulphurous matter which it contains when newly dug.
Tire western wing is of three storeys and contains Cooperage, Coal Shed, Mill Room, Malt Deposit and Mash House. In the northern wing is situated the Engine House, Boilers and Still House; the latter a vast open building, containing the Cooler, into which the worts are forced by a centrifugal pump; the Refrigerator, one of Morton's best; the six Backs, or Fermenting Tuns each capable of containing 0 gallons; the Wash chargers of similar capacity; the Wash Still holding 0 gallons, and the Spirits Still, holding 0 gallons; and other necessary utensils.. .All the plant is of the newest and most approved description and is erected on the gravitation system'.
Early in January 1883 the board agreed that in keeping with their original plans the whisky would only be sole wholesale, principally for blending. All customers were to be treated equally, with no special rebates or discounts. Robertson & Baxter naturally were appointed 'agents for the sale of whisky' with a commission of twopence per gallon.
By the end of the first financial year of the Islay Distillery Company's operations on 31 August 1883, more than £21,000 worth of whisky had been sold, yielding a handsome profit on not more than six months working of almost £0 - a return of twenty-three per cent on the capital. This outstanding achievement at the beginning of the enterprise, reflecting the buoyant market for blend, was repeated in the following year when profits almost doubled to just under £0. Recognising the important role played by their manager, Mr Smith, in achieving these excellent results, the directors unanimously agreed to his 'terms and conditions' to remain in the job, 'salary £350 per annum, free house, fire and lighting, keep for cow, all expenses attending removal of household and sum of not less than £30 to be expended on furniture for manager's house'. Shortly afterwards, a school was opened at the distillery for the 18 children living there.
The Oban Times had rightly predicted that the decision to build the distillery would create new jobs. Even in the difficult years of 1885 & 1886 when the economy was depressed and the demand for new whisky slack, three gangs of men were engaged in cutting peat during the months of April, May and June. In the fortnight beginning 1 June, thirteen men and women worked for a shilling a day in carrying and stacking peat. By 1889, when the industry had recovered, the number of gangs cutting peat had risen to four. At this time there were twelve men and boys, and one woman, working inside the distillery and, depending on the season, between three and fifteen people engaged in outside jobs. The men were paid between three shillings and sixpence and five shillings a day for a six day week.
In the summer of 1887 the directors of Islay Distillery Co. decided to amalgamate their business with that of William Grant & Co., owners of Glen Rothes distillery, to form Highland Distilleries Co. After a little more than five years of existence Islay Distillery Co. was put into liquidation and the assets transferred to the new company. This change of ownership made little difference to the day-to-day management of the distillery or the sale of its fine Islay malt whisky. This was used almost entirely for blending until the late 1970s when the twelve year-old malt was launched in an attractive black bottle with an eye-catching label showing a Scottish sailor at the helm of a large vessel, no doubt making its way past Islay on the last leg of its voyage to Glasgow. The simple caption "Westering Home' is taken from the well-known Scottish song that captures the love of all those families from the West Highlands scattered throughout the world for their islands and their native drink:
'Westering home with a song in the air
Light in the eye and its goodbye to care
Laughter o 'love and a welcoming there
Isle of my heart my own one'.
Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is distributed by Matthew Gloag & Son and available in specialist outlets throughout the United Kingdom.
Distillery operating hours: 5 ½ days a week, 24 hours a day
Number of emplyees: 11
Water source: Margadale Spring (whisky water)
Loch Staoisha: (cooling water)
Water reserve: Not known
Water colour: clear
Peat content of water: zero
Malt source: Simpson's (Berwick) 90 per cent Port Ellen 10 per cent
Own floor maltings: unused
Malt type: Optic
Malt specification phenols Bunnahabhain: less than 2 ppm;
Mash tun construction: stainless steel: rake and plough
Mash size: 12.5-13 tonnes
First water: 43.000 litres at 82o C plus 7-8.000 litres
of cold water to achieve first-water temperature of 64o C
Second water: 24.000 litres at 80o C
Third water: 20.000 litres at 90o C
Fourth water: 23.000 litres at 90o C
Number of washbacks: 6
Washback construction: Oregon pine
Washback charge: 66.500 litres
Yeast: Quest cultured yeast
Amount of yeast: 250 kg per washback
Lenght of fermentation: 63 hours (shorts: week): 80 hours
Initial fermentation temperature: 20o C (weekdays):
f'O C (weekends)
Strenght of wash: 6,5 per cent - 8,5 per cent abv
Number of wash stills: 2
Wash stills built: 1: 1989; 2: 1963
Wash still capacity: 35.356 litres
Wash still charge: 16.625 litres (47 per cent of capacity)
Heat source: steam pans
Wash still height: 25 feet 10 inches (7.87 m)
Wash still shape: plain
Lenght of low-wines run: c. 5 hours
Low-wines collection range: 46 per cent abv -
0.5 per cent abv
Number of spirit stills: 2
Spirit stills built: 1 not known (pre-1963) 2: 1963
Spirit still capacity: 15.546 litres
Spirit still charge : 9.000-9.600 litres
(around 60 per cent capacity)
Strenght of spirit still charge: 26 per cent abv
Heat source: steam pans
Spirit still height: 20 feet 10 inches (6.35 m)
Spirit still shape: plain
Lyne arm: straight
Condensers: Two wash-still condensers, each
14 feet 4 inches, (4.37 m) long, one sited
internally and one exter nally, tube width 7/8 inch (2.2 cm)
Number of tubes: information not available.
Two spirit-still:condensers, each 13 feet 9 inches (4.19 m)
long, one sited internally and one externally, tube width
7/8 inch (2.2 cm)
number of tubes: information not available
Lenght of foreshot run: about 10 minutes
Lenght of spirit run: 2-3 hours
Lenght of feints run: about 3 hours
Spirit cut Bunnahabhain: 72 per cent abv - 64 per cent abv;
New peaty spirit: 72 per cent abv to 61.5 per cent abv
Distilling strenght: 68.5 per cent abv average
Storage strenght: 63.5 per cent abv
Average spirit yield: 409,5 litres of pure alcohol per tonne of malt
Disposal of pot ale and spent lees: piped into Sound of Islay
Type of cask filled for branded malt:
10 per cent first-fill and second-fill sherry casks of various sizes
Current annual output: 1.000.000 litres of pure alcohol (2003)
Number of warehouses : 7 (numbered 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Type of warehouses: dunnage and racking
Storage capacity on Islay: 21.000 casks
Percentage of branded malt: entirely
Aged on Islay: 100 per cent
Vatting and bottling location: East Kilbride<������i@��x��0��@0��releases
Major blending roles: Cutty Sark, Black Bottle, Famous Grouse, Scottish Leader
Voorjaar 1999 kregen de Edrington Group en Highland Distillers verschil van mening over het niet of wel aanhouden van de beursnotering.
September 1999 wordt bekend dat Edrington en William Grant & Sons samen Highland Distillers overnemen.
De naam van de nieuwe onderneming luidt: The 1887 Company, wat slaat op het stichtingsjaar van Highland Distillers.
Edrington verkrijgt 70 %-, William Grant & Sons 30 % van de aandelen'.
Ian Bankier, manager van Burn Stewart maakt bekend dat CL. Financial te Trinidad en Tobago, producent van rum en Angostura Bitter, die al een aandeel had in Burn Stewart van 28,9 % dit aandeel hebben verhoogd tot 52 % en het dus nu voor het zeggen hebben.
CL. Financial is de naam van de holding waaronder 62 ondernemingen vallen, verzekeren, financiële dienstverlening en projectontwikkeling. In 1997 werd Angostura overgenomen en in 1998 Todhunter Rum.
CL. Financial betaalde £ 48,9 miljoen voor Burn Stewart, de merknaam Scottish Leader en de twee distilleerderijen Deanston en Tobermory
Even later neemt Burnt Stewart Bunnahabhain op Islay over en het merk Black Bottle. Ian Bankier is nu (2003) de C E 0 van CL. World Brands.
Ian Bankier verlaat in 2003 C L World Brands en neemt in Februari 2004 The Whisky Shop over, een detail keten, met winkels in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Fort William, Oban en Callander, met de bedoeling de keten uit te breiden naar andere steden in het Verenigd Koninkrijk.
Bunnahabhain werd gebouwd in 1881 op land dat was gekocht voor £ 2000 van de landheer Charles Morrison (dat zou nu zijn £ 129.000).
De originele whisky van Bunnahabhain was geturfrookt, dit duurde voort tot begin zestiger jaren.
Tot 2003 was de whisky niet geturfrookt.
Bunnahabhain was gesloten van 1932 tot 1936, ook gedurende de tweede wereldoorlog en van 1982 tot 1984.
In 1963 werd de produktie verdubbeld door de veel grotere verkopen van Cutty Sark, waarvan Bunnahabhain een belangrijke smaakmaker is.
Door dit succes was de formule veranderd van Bunnahabhain, Cutty Sark is een heel lichte blend, daar paste niet een geturfrookte Bunnahabhain in.
Vanaf 17 November 2003 werd er weer zwaarder geturfrookt, en in 1991 en 1997 werden er whiskies gemaakr met twee verschillende turf sterktes. (28 ppm en 38 ppm)
De drie moutvloeren waren voor het laatst in gebruik in 1963, maar bestaan nog steeds.
90 % van de mout komt van Simpson' Berwick Maltings, 10 % van Port Ellen.
Quest M en Quest M X zijn de gebruikte gistsoorten.
Sinds 1963 heeft Bunnahbahain twee wash stills en twee spirit stills.
Bunnahabhain heeft zeven lagerpakhuizen voor ongeveer 21000 vaten.
Eind jaren tachtig zijn er experimenten uitgevoerd om whiskies uit andere regionen van Schotland
te laten rijpen bij Bunnahabhain, o.a. Glen Rothes en omgekeerd, Bunnahabhain op het Schotse vaste land.
Er worden bij Bunnahabhain zowel sherry- als bourbonvaten gebruikt
In 1879, the Islay Distillery Co was established to construct a new distillery in the Sound of Islay, Argyll & Bute
The partners of this new company were James Ford of William Ford & Sons,
tea, wine and spirit merchants of Leith, Edinburgh, James Watson Greenlees,
a partner in McMurchy & Ralston of Campbeltown, Argyll & Bute and William
A. Robertson of Robertson & Baxter, wholesale whisky merchants in Glasgow.
Land was purchased in 1880 and construction commenced of the Bunnahabhain
distillery the following year with projected production volume of 200.000 gal-
lons a year.
In 1882 the company was incorporated as Islay Distillery Co Ltd with a share
capital of 32.000 Pound. During 1882 the Bunnahabhain distillery opened,
though fill production was not achieved unti January 1883.
The directors of the Islay Distillery Co Ltd decided to sell their whisky whole-
sale only, principally for blending and Robertson & Baxter were appointed
as their agents for its sale.
Initially Islay Distillery Co Ltd saw handsome profits, however the success of
these first eighteen months was not sustained during 1886 - 1887. These years
saw a depression of the economy as a whole, which effected the whisky industry
and as a consequence the Islay Distillery Co Ltd saw its production slashed and its
profits more than halved.
In 1887 with reduced profits and in the face of competition from other distillers
the company decided tp amalgamate their business with William Grant & Co,
owners of the Glenrothes distillery in Rothes, Moray, to form the Highland
Distilleries Co Ltd
Despite the change of ownership there was little change in the to day running of
Bunnahbahain distillery. The whisky continued to be used almost entirely for
In 1930 the decision was taken to close Bunnahbahain as the recession deepened and
unemployment accelerated within all industries but re-
opened in 1937.
In 1963 a second pair of stills were added and it continued to produce whisky for blending, mainly
in the Famous Grouse and Black Bottle blends, until the
late 1970s when the 12 year old single malt whisky was launched under the Bunnahabhain brand.
Port Askaig, Islay, Argyll
Translation: "Mouth of the River"
Slogans: "Gentle taste of Islay"
" Experience the gentle taste"
"The Spiritual Home of Black Bottle"
Status / Producing: Active
Water Sources: For Production:
For Cooling: Loch Staoisla
Barley: Optic, Simpson's and
Port Ellen Maltings for peated malt)
Phenols: Less than 2-ppm for the
standard Bunnahabhain, and
35- ppm for the "Moine"= peated malt
Gristmill; Porteus Mill from 1964
Mash Tun: 1 Traditional Steel Mash Tun
"fs10 cf1 ff1"> with a capacity of 15 tonnes
Currently (2012) 12.52 tonnes
Washbacks: 6 Oregon pine with a capacity of 110.000 litres,
charged (in 2012) at 66.500 litres
Yeast: Quest cultured yeast
Fermentation: Minimum 48 hours
till around 96 hours in the weekends
Stills: 2 Wash Stills each 35.000 litres
2 Spirit Stills each 16.000 litres
Average strength of New Make: 69 %
Cask Types: 60 % First - Fill, Second
Fill Bourbon Barrels and Refill Whisky
Hogsheads 40 % First - Fill and Second
Fill Sherry Casks of various sizes
Cask Entry Strenght: 63,5 %
Warehouses: 7 on - site = 6 dunnage
and 1 racked
The Malt for Single malt Whiskies is
matured at the distillery. A quantity of
malt for blending is shipped to mainland for
Vatting and Bottling: at Burn Stewart's
East Kilbridge bottling plant
Capacity: 2.500.000 litres a year
Output: (2012 2.000.000 litres a year
Visitor Centre: Yes a small one and shop
Parent owner: C L Financial, Trinidad
Blending Role: 85 % Blends, 15 % Single Malt
Master Distiller Ian MacMillan has discovered the casks in the ledgers of Bunnahabhain distillery. This whisky is unpeated, unchill filtered and 41.7 % and 750 bottles.
The socalled " Turney "casks were filled, 40 years ago by the wine merchants J. G. Turney in Glasgow. This limited batch Bunnahabhain Ceõbanach, pronounced "kyaw - bin - och"and meaning "smoky mist" from the Scot's Gaelic, was created to reflect the intensely peated origins of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky back in the late 19th century.
Began with a dream of Ian MacMillan our Master Distiller. His desire was to reflect the 19th century origins of Bunnahabhain, both the place and the single malt'scharming complex character.
Ian took inspiration from life on Islay in the 1800's, when the whole community was dependent on peat for warmth, fuel and trade. A time when smoke from the open fires mingled with the salty sea air to create
a "smoky mist"you could almost taste.
You 'il find complex layers of flavor in this natural un - chillfiltered single malt: the lemon gold liquid has been matured in ex bourbon casks for over 10 years producing a rich sweet creamy oak maltiness on the palate complementing thentensely peated fragrant smoke on the nose.
Bunnahabhain Ceobanach - an inspired dram, evocative of times long past.
Everything about it is large, from the huge courtyard to the stills. It is these with their low fill levels and massive amount of available copper which help to craft what has always been a light style of malt. Ageing has traditionally been in ex-Sherry casks which adds a sumptuous sweet richness to the spirit though quite where the spicy ginger note, which is a marker for Bunna', comes from is unclear. Occasionally refill casks show an almost salty edge.
Although peat levels had dropped to virtually nothing from the 1960s onwards, Bunna' did start life smokier than it is now, something which Burn Stewart is reviving. These days, around 20% of production is heavily peated, destined for a variety of bottlings, the main one being Toiteach.
Islay’s remote north east coast might seem a strange place to find a substantial Victorian distillery, but it was chosen in 1881 by William Robertson (of Robertson & Baxter) in partnership with Greenlees Bros. as the perfect spot for his island vision. Constructing it meant not only building the distillery but houses as well, putting in a road, and adding on a pier so that casks and barley could come in, and whisky go out. It cost Robertson £30,000 (£2.6m i������i@��x��0��@0��and Distillers [now Edrington] was formed.
While other Islay distilleries sold their make as single malts and for blending, Bunna’s destiny was always with the latter. While it was used across the industry, it performed a central role in three R&B blends: Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and, in time, Black Bottle.
Rapid growth for Scotch in the early 1960s saw the stills being doubled in 1963, the same year as the floor maltings came out. Its good fortunes weren’t to last and like many distilleries it was mothballed in 1982. Although this only lasted two years, production levels were kept low for many years. By the end of the 1980s it was finally ready to emerge as a single malt with the tag-line ‘the unpronounceable malt’. The vast bulk of its make was however still making its way into blends.
Despite an upturn in the whisky market, Edrington sold it (while retaining fillings contracts) in 2003 to Burn Stewart for £10m. Burn Stewart itself was owned by Trinidad-based conglomerate CL Financial which went spectacularly bust in 2009. In 2013 CL’s receivers sold Burn Stewart to its long-term South African distributor, Distell. Since then production levels have increased as have sales of the single malt – with significant success in Africa and Taiwan.
William Robertson, along with William and James Greenlees of Islay Distillers Co.,
Production officially begins at the distillery
Islay Distillers merges with William Grant & Co to form Highland Distillers
The number of stills are doubled to four while the floor maltings are torn out
Following a downturn in the market, Bunnahabhain is mothballed
Production recommences, albeit at a low level
Edrington assumes control of Highland Distillers
Bunnahabhain and its stablemate, Black Bottle, are sold to Burn Stewart (CL Financial) for £10m
Burn Stewart is sold to Distell after CL Financial goes bust
CAPACITY (MLPA) i
CONDENSER TYPE i
Shell and tube
FERMENTATION TIME i
FILLING STRENGTH i
GRIST WEIGHT (T) i
HEAT SOURCE i
MALT SPECIFICATION i
Plain malt maximum 2ppm, Peated malt minimum 35ppm
MALT SUPPLIER i
MASH TUN MATERIAL i
Copper domed, stainless steel
MASH TUN TYPE i
NEW-MAKE STRENGTH i
SINGLE MALT PERCENTAGE i
SPIRIT STILL CHARGE (L) i
SPIRIT STILL SHAPE i
SPIRIT STILL SIZE (L) i
20,000 casks on site on dunnage and racking
WASH STILL CHARGE (L) i
WASH STILL SHAPE i
WASH STILL SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK CHARGE (L) i
WASHBACK SIZE (L) i
WASHBACK TYPE i
WATER SOURCE i
Process - Margadale Spring. Cooling - Loch Staoisha
Islay distillery Bunnahabhain is to receive an £11 million renovation
Modern makeover: Bunnahabhain distillery's facelift will encourage tourists to linger
The island’s most northerly distillery has, according to its South African owner Distell, long been in need of serious restoration, citing crumbling warehouse roofs and poor infrastructure.
Upgrades to the site buildings over the next three years will focus on making the hard-to-reach distillery a more attractive destination for whisky tourists.
Bunnahabhain’s concrete-grey appearance will conform to the traditional Islay distillery aesthetic with new whitewashed walls and a ‘tidier’ layout. Some of the site’s existing warehouses and distillery houses will be demoslished in the process.
A lounge area will be created in Bunnahabhain’s Warehouse 9, with large bay windows installed which look out across the distillery’s pier and onto the Sound of Islay.
Moorings will be introduced in the bay, encouraging boats to tie up and visit the distillery from the sea. Meanwhile, visitors will be encouraged to stay for the day and relax in one of several mobile beach huts.
Those wishing to stay longer can also rent one of the eight new luxury holiday cottages being renovated on-site.
Derek Scott, general manager of malts at Distell, said: ‘Bunnahabhain has been under-invested as a site. We’re the scruffy site; it’s not an unfair statement. It’s not the easiest journey to make to get to us on Islay. So, if you’ve made it all the way to the distillery, spend some time with us; we’ll make it easy for you.’
Scott added that the changes at Bunnahabhain will also improve the infrastructure and smooth operation of the distillery, negatively affecting production capacity only slightly.
However, the style of whisky produced at the distillery will not change.
NEW BUNNAHABHAIN RELEASES
Alongside its investment announcement, Bunnahabhain has revealed three new limited-edition single malts to be released in August/September.
Bunnahabhain 2003 Pedro Ximénez Finish is a 15-year-old whisky matured for 11 years in second-fill Sherry butts before being finished in first-fill PX casks for an additional four years. Bottled at 54.8% abv, the release, which is described as syrupy and sweet, will be available for £85 in select markets.
Bunnahabhain 1980 Canasta Finish is a 36-year-old malt matured in second-fill oloroso Sherry butts and finished in extremely active Canasta Sherry casks for three months. Described by master blender Dr Kirstie McCallum as embodying the ‘biggest, deepest flavour seen in Bunnahabhain’, the release is bottled at 49.5% abv, and will be available for £1,800.
Lastly, the distillery is releasing Bunnahabhain 2004 Moine Brandy Finish, a 13-year-old whisky matured in ex-Sherry butts that’s been finished in French brandy casks for three years. It will be available to buy for £80 per bottle.
The three releases follow that of Bunnahabhain 46 Year Old Eich Bhana Lìr, the distillery’s oldest release to date, in May this year. Only 198 bottles of the expression, which has spent its entire life in a second-fill Sherry butt, were launched at an RRP of £5,000.
Bunnahabhain was first built in 1881, with its own pier to allow barley to be delivered and whisky to be shipped back to the mainland. The distillery was upgraded in the 1960s, with two additional stills installed and its floor maltings removed.
The distillery released its first single malt in the 1970s and since then production levels have increased, although investment in the distillery itself has been minimal.
It was bought by South Africa’s Distell in 2013.
BUNNAHABHAIN RELEASES NEW LIMITED EDITIONS
Islay distillery Bunnahabhain has released two new limited edition expressions, including a peated single malt.
Bunnahabhain Moine Brandy Finish and Pedro Ximénez Sherry Finish
Finished articles: The unusual brandy-finished 2004 malt contrasts with the 2003, finished in PX casks
Bunnahabhain 2004 Moine Brandy Finish is bottled at 55.7% and has been finished in brandy casks, a first for the island distillery.
The whisky is peated, featuring a ‘complex and intriguing nose of honeyed nuts and rich oak’ along with a ‘smoky and peppery finish’, Bunnahabhain said.
‘The influence of the brandy casks in its final years of maturation has created a wonderful richness and complex palate that really complements the salty character of Bunnahabhain,’ said Derek Scott, brand director – malt whisky at distillery owner Distell.
The second limited edition whisky, Bunnahabhain 2003 Pedro Ximénez Finish, is an unpeated malt finished in Sherry butts and bottled at 54.8%.
The single malt is said to be ‘rich and syrupy’, making it ‘a unique combination of the classic elegant style of Bunnahabhain, contrasted by a sweet note drawn from the Sherried wood’, according to Scott.
The whiskies have been released to select markets, with the 2004 Moine Brandy Finish retailing at an RRP of £80, while the 2003 Pedro Ximénez will be sold at an RRP of £85.
BUNNAHABHAIN UNVEILS 2018 FÈIS ÌLE WHISKIES
Islay distillery Bunnahabhain has released details of its annual Fèis Ìle bottlings: a no-age-statement Sherry cask-finished peated whisky, and a 15-year-old Spanish oak-finished malt.
Bunnahabhain Fèis Ìle 2018 whiskies
Celebratory drams: The two limited edition whiskies will only be available to purchase from the distillery during Fèis Ìle
The two bottlings will be released as part of the distillery’s celebrations for Fèis Ìle (Islay Festival), which takes place on the island from 25 May to 2 June.
Bunnahabhain Mòine Oloroso Finish was distilled in 2007 and is bottled at a cask strength of 59.5% abv. Mòine being the distillery’s peated line of whiskies, the bottling is said to contain notes of ‘spicy, smoky peatiness’ on the nose and ‘fig and raisin, honeyed nuts, pepper and wood smoke’ on the palate.
Derek Scott, brand director for malt whisky at Distell, which owns Bunnahabhain distillery, said: ‘If you translate the words “Mòine Oloroso” from the Gaelic and Spanish it means “scented peat”.
‘This is also reflected in the deep rose gold colour of the whisky and the hint of driftwood in the taste.’
Bunnahabhain Spanish Oak Finish is a 15-year-old single malt bottled at a cask strength of 58.2% abv. The whisky has been aged in refill American oak casks before being transferred to Spanish oak Gran Reserva barrels in 2013.
‘This final stage in its maturation has created an intense aroma of ripe berries and spices, leaving a dark chocolate and light spiced flavour on tasting,’ said Scott.
A total of 1,881 bottles of the Mòine Oloroso Finish (£95) and 1,458 bottles of the Spanish Oak Finish (£250) have been produced.
They will only be able to purchase from Bunnahabhain’s visitor centre from its festival open day on 1 June.
Bunnahabhain’s Fèis Ìle celebrations also include production tours, tastings and – new for this year – a 30-minute boat ride to view the distillery from the sea.
Bunnahabhain onthult twee Fèis Ìle releases
Bunnahabhain Moine Oloroso. Distilleerderij Bunnahabhain brengt tijdens het jaarlijkse Fèis Ìle een tweetal speciale uitgaves op de markt. Een geturfde editie die een finish heeft gehad in een sherryvat, en een 15-jarige Bunnahabhain met een finish op Spaans eiken.
Fèis Ìle, ook wel bekend als het Islay Festival, vindt dit jaar plaats van de 25 mei tot 2 juni, en is een viering waarbij Islay whisky en de Gaelische cultuur centraal staan. Traditioneel heeft iedere distilleerderij zijn eigen open dag. Die van Bunnahabhain vindt plaats op vrijdag 1 juni.
De Bunnahabhain Mòine Oloroso Finish is een whisky die in 2007 is gedistilleerd, en in 2018 op een respectabele sterkte van 59,5 procent is gebotteld. Mòine is de naam die wordt gegeven aan de geturfde lijn whisky’s van Bunnahabhain.
Deze speciale Fèis Ìle-editie heeft aroma’s van gedroogd fruit, romige toffee en chocolade, gecombineerd met een kruidige, rokerig turfgeur. De smaak is zoet met vijgen en rozijnen, maar heeft ook smaken als peper een rook.
Bunnahabhain Spanish Oak Finish‘Als je de woorden Mòine en Oloroso vertaalt van het Spaans en Gaelisch, dan betekent dat geparfumeerde turf’, zegt Derek Scott, brand director bij Distell, de Zuid-Afrikaanse eigenaar van Bunnahabhain. ‘Dit zie je ook terug in de rose gouden kleur van de whisky, en de hint van drijfhout in de smaak.’
De Bunnahahbain Spanish Oak Finish is een 15 jaar oude whisky. Het eerste deel van de rijpingsperiode is doorgebracht op refill vaten, voordat de whisky in 2013 is overgeheveld naar Gran Reserva vaten van Spaans eiken. De whisky is gebotteld op 58,2 procent.
Scott: ‘Dat laatste stadium van het rijpingsproces heeft gezorgd voor intense aromas van rijpe bessen en kruiden, met smaken van donkere chocola en bovendien iets licht kruidigs.’
Van de Mòine Oloroso Finish komen 1.881 flessen uit, terwijl er van de Spanish Oak Finish in totaal 1.458 flessen uitgegeven worden. De prijzen zijn respectievelijk £95 en £250. De whisky’s zijn vanaf 1 juni exclusief verkrijgbaar bij het bezoekerscentrum van Bunnahabhain.
DISTELL UNVEILS LIMITED EDITION MALTS RANGE
South African spirits company Distell is launching a new annual collection of limited edition single malts from its Bunnahabhain, Deanston and Tobermory distilleries.
Bunnahabhain 2008 Mòine Bordeaux Red Wine Cask Matured and Deanston 2008 Brandy Cask Finish
First Wave: Malts from Deanston and Bunnahabhain are on shelves before the rest of the range
The 2018 collection is comprised of six whiskies, each of which has been matured or finished in casks seasoned with Sherry, brandy or red wine.
Derek Scott, brand manager for malt whisky at Distell, said: ‘Using the flavour profile each brand is known for as the guide to select the finishing casks, we’ve been able to create six limited release whiskies that are not just of interest for their points of difference, but are also fantastic drams that remain true to the whisky’s style.’
Two of the six editions are available now, with the remaining four released in September.
Bunnahabhain 2008 Mòine Bordeaux Red Wine Cask Matured is already available in global specialist whisky stores, priced around £75.
The peated single malt, which is bottled at a cask strength of 58.1% abv, is fully matured in red wine casks from Bordeaux to provide ‘rich grape and peppery smoke notes’ with ‘hints of toffee and tobacco’ on the palate.
Deanston 2008 Brandy Cask Finish is also currently available, priced around £60. The expression, which is bottled at 56.4% abv, was matured for seven years in American oak casks before being transferred to Brandy butts for an additional maturation period, providing ‘rich oak with a distinctive dried fruit and brandy influence’ on the palate.
The remaining four expressions in the 2018 collection, which will be released globally from 12 September, include malts from Tobermory distillery on Mull – including its peated variant Ledaig – and Bunnahabhain on Islay:
Tobermory 2005 Fino Cask Finish, £110
Ledaig 1998 Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish, £130
Ledaig 1998 PX Cask Finish, £150
Bunnahabhain Palo Cortado Cask Finish, £275
Scott added: ‘We’re lucky to have three very different distilleries and this showcase will allow us to share the stories of each and highlight how these are reflected in the bold new releases.’
Stephen Woodcock oversees operations at Deanston, Bunnahabhain and Tobermory distilleries in his role with parent company Distell. Ahead of Tobermory’s re-opening this summer, he reveals what went on behind the scenes during the Mull distillery’s two-year closure and the drive behind creating its first gin.
Woodcock loves the whisky he makes – but loathes pairing it with food
‘I cannot understand the trend of pairing whisky with food, or whisky and chocolate, or whisky with anything else. I know it sounds cliché, but I like to enjoy a nice whisky on its own, as intended. Why would you pair something that’s so nice when enjoyed on its own? A splash of water or a rock of ice is fine, but I want my full attention on the dram. I have a very one-dimensional palate – it’s one reason why I’ll never be a blender.
‘I was born into the drinks industry, as my father owned a pub and my mother worked for Allied Distillers for 40 years. I’m a chemist by trade. I worked in chemistry for a couple of years, but the lure of whisky was never far away – I landed a role with Diageo at Port Dundas distillery in Glasgow and worked there until it closed. I moved north and my role took me to a number of distilleries and I’ve been working in whisky ever since. Distilling is just a chemical process like any other.
‘Tobermory is extremely important to the community on the island of Mull. When we closed for two years we wanted to retain the staff as we’re not tripping over distillers in Mull by virtue of being the only distillery on the island. Each distillery is a big part of the community it’s in, so we wanted to make a commitment to the locals that we’d be staying open, especially in light of the distillery’s chequered past. Over the years, Tobermory has been closed almost as long as it’s been open.
Tobermory distillery is a key feature on the small Scottish island of Mull
‘In those two years we’ve done a lot of work to the infrastructure such as replacing the roofs, all four washbacks and two stills. We’ve also been working on a gin plant with a smaller still for experiements.
‘The new stills will work slightly differently, with replaceable joints as opposed to having everything welded in place. When we come to change any of the parts, it will operate like a Formula One pit crew: rather than cutting through the still and welding it back together again like the old days, we’re using air-driven torque wrenches. Old kit out, new kit in and suddenly we’re back up and distilling. It’s quicker, but it’s also safer. Unfortunately, I’m yet to convince Andrew [Brown, distillery manager at Bunnahabhain] to go for this kind of still. He’s so traditional – he said: “I will not see a flange [a raised rim that runs along a joint] on a still as long as I draw breath”.
‘Those new stills won’t change the way we distil our whisky. If you’ve got a good thing going, you don’t change it. However, what we have done is rebranded the Tobermory 10 to a Tobermory 12, relaunching it with new, vibrant packaging. The 10-year-old was a fine dram and to be honest, we were underselling it. But rather than being cynical and just increasing the price of the bottle, we’ve premiumised it by leaving the whisky for a couple of extra years in the cask. Those two years have added a nice round maturity to the whisky, coupled with a sweetness the 10-year-old was lacking. I believe the age, the quality of the spirit and the price point now all tie together beautifully.
‘Funnily enough, we kept the visitor’s centre open and we’ve seen record numbers of footfall since the distillery was shut. Even being silent hasn’t put people off visiting us.
Longer wait: Tobermory’s new flagship whisky has been matured for a further two years
‘We recognised Tobermory was not doing much to tap into the uniqueness of Mull. We were the only distillery on the island and we wanted to put something through the stills that would reflect the island’s unspoiled landscape, so we created Mull’s only gin. We could have taken the easy route – you may not be aware there’s an old gin rectification house at Deanston, so Distell could have produced gin there – but we decided to make something from scratch and distil our spirit in a beautiful part of the world.
‘That was the rationale behind building our small experimental stillhouse, which is home to our little “wee Mary” gin still. The name comes from Tobermory, which is Gaelic for “Mary’s well”.
‘As an industry, whisky is often viewed as taking an awful lot from some of our natural resources without putting too much back in, but Deanston sticks out for its green credentials. Deanston was one of the first distilleries to make organic whisky, bringing in barley grown without pesticides, which lessens its environmental impact. Seeing more organic whiskies coming through would be a very positive thing for the industry. At Bunnahabhain, we’re looking at installing a biomass boiler for steam generation and we’ve stopped sending our waste co-products like draff to be turned into cattle feed. Instead, all our co-products now go to third parties who generate gas with it, so we’re feeding energy back into the grid.
‘My family home is in Speyside. From Monday to Friday, my time is split between three distilleries, so when I go home those two days are very precious to me. I love my music – I have always been a very keen guitar player. I’m not very good at it and I know that, because I can see the faces of the people in the room when I’m playing it.
‘I was also a keen rugby player, but my nickname as a full-back was “Hole In My Bucket” because I never seemed to catch the ball. Now I’m a man of a certain age, I make my voice heard from the touchline instead. However, regardless of what I’m doing, I can always manage to squeeze a dram in somewhere.’
You might pick up a tiny struck match on the opening but this flashes off, leaving a vinous quality with thick, baked fruits, some honeycomb, citronella, peaches (in syrup) and also a surprising smoked meat note. This then sinks into clotted cream dribbled with orange Muscat and some sour cherry, adding a little bite.
As the nose suggests this is concentrated, sweet and rich, with those ripe fruits lying heavily on the tongue. More apricots now, with a balancing crunch of cereal towards the back. Water does nothing to alter this overall lusciousness.
Long, clinging and sweet. Light ginger.
The five years spent in Sauternes casks (‘Is that a finish or secondary maturation?’ asks Pedantic Ed.) has added extra sweetness and richness without making things too cloying.