Bunnahabhain 46 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review

let’s begin

Found on the spectacular Isle of Islay, Bunnahabhain Distillery has been around since 1881.

They are incredibly proud of their island home and indulge in its history and the people who live there, known as Ileach.

While they are firmly rooted in the Islay surroundings, they produce some of the least peated malts on the island, slightly moving away from the heavily peated drams that Islay distilleries typically create. And have just announced an £11m investment to up the experience crews of the distillery too.

They have a core range that includes a 12, 18, 25 and 40 Year Old. As well as these they have special editions and a wonderful selection of rare malts.

One such malt is their 46 year old. This dram, also known as Eich Bhana Lir, which means the great waves of the god Lir, who was the Celtic god of the sea, is the oldest ever released by Bunnahabhain. It was also limited to only 198 bottles.

This is a wonderfully sweet dram, with a nose that is full of vanilla and oak, with floral hints and a smooth honeyed note.

It recalls an orchard on a sunny day, with bog wooded flavours and lots of grassy ntoes. These are herby and soft.

The vanilla is lightly toasted, with a gentle warmth to it and a lovely depth. It goes perfectly with the fruit flavours that also appear. These are mostly made up of oranges and bananas, giving a little tropical hint to the dram.

On the palate the flavours are bolder. They are complemented with a leather and mahogany flavour that gives refinement and depth.

These rich notes are eloquent alongside the zesty citrus fruits. Lemons and oranges take the foreground, with lots of juiciness and flavour.

Sweet nuts appear, such as hazelnuts and pecans. These are covered in honey and more vanilla, with the wood of the casks starting to appear as well.

Underneath it all is a lovely cinnamon and nutmeg warmth. This is spicy and warming, giving a little kick towards the finish.

The finish itself is soft, with lots more spice and a lovely honeyed oak note.

Tags: BunnahabhainBunnahabhain 46Bunnahabhain DistilleryIleachisle of Islay
Picture of Greg


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

You might be interested in

More from the blog

Leave a comment

Login / register