The Bunnahabhain distillery
The Bunnahabhain distillery

A Short History of Bunnahabhain

The Bunnahabhain distillery is unusual among its Islay distilling brethren. Notably, for the last fifty-odd years, it has specialized in producing unpeated whiskies rather than the “peat monsters” that Islay’s other distilleries have become world famous for crafting. Moreover, unlike its better-known distillery cousins, its history is not shrouded in tales of bootleg whisky and surreptitious smuggling.

Bunnahabhain was built in 1881, during the late 19th century whisky boom, and at the height of the Victorian period. By then, whisky distillation was already a well-established business. Its construction, even now, reflects the optimism, the scale and the grandeur that exemplified Great Britain’s Victorian Age.

Locals have long insisted that the architect who designed the Bunnahabhain distillery also designed numerous prisons throughout Scotland and that consequently the distillery has a…