This Bunnahabhain represents an advance of the distillery that is otherwise known for its mild Islay whiskeys. With the Toiteach (pronounced Toch Chach), the distillery presents a smoky Bunnahabhain for the first time.
The distillery dates back to 1881 and has many tales to tell. One such story is hinted at in these letters from 1889. On the left, is a letter from the management of that day. It informs the Bunnahabhain distillery manager that “dramming”. However, it’s regarding about the practice of allowing workers a non-duty paid drink during the working day. Moreover, it halted on orders from The Board. The second letter is a full, informative and handwritten description of the distillery. Furthermore, right down to the type and number of valves beneath each still. Well, when you love your craft as much as everyone here does, there’s no such thing as too much detail. This is just a taste of our historical records. However, the majority of which are now stored in the Glasgow University archives for safekeeping.
Along with the pure, clear Margadale Spring and the ocean washing on our shores. Furthermore, it’s our people who lend our whisky some of its character.
The Whisky Making Process
The Beginning From 1881 to the present day, our welcoming malt has always started out the same way. In addition, it’s good quality malted barley, clean, pure Margadale spring water and a little yeast. We could spin you a tale of how our whisky is made. Moreover, we make it from superior ingredients compared to other Islay malts. However, the truth is that all good whisky starts in the same way. Bunnahabhain’s welcoming taste comes from other factors, namely our choice of location. In this particular spot, it benefits from the breath of the bold sea. Moreover, on one side and on the other, the pure spring water of the underground Margadale River.
1. The Mash
With the barley brought across the seas to us now malted and lightly peated. Moreover, we mixed with the heated spring water in the mash tun. This artisan process produces a fermentable solution of the sugars in the malt called wort.
2. The Wash
Backs The next stage in the good ship Bunnahabhain is our Oregon pine wash backs. Here, fermentation takes place as the cooled wort and yeast react to produce a weak alcohol solution called wash. Now we can start the next stage of the story; distilling.
We start the third sate of our malt’s tale as we transfer the wash. Moreover, we transfer the wash to the wash stills and then we heat it. As the liquid heats, it begins to evaporate. This evaporation rises to the top of the still then flows down the curved lye pipe to the condenser. Next, we cool it. Then, it runs on to the low wines receiver. At this stage, the solution is still too weak and impure. Then, we redistill it in a second still called a spirit still.
4. The Heart of the Spirit
The second distillation flows through the spirit safe, where our stillmen, acting as skilled editors of our whisky’s tale, watch for the elusive middle cut, rejecting the first and final parts of the run. Next, we store the middle cut in the spirit receiver for casking. Next,we return the rest to the still and redistill it.
5. The Casks
Our carefully chosen casks bring new character to our story and bless us with hints of their past adventures. Arriving at the distillery, our very own Long John takes delivery of the large oak vessels and moves them to the filling area. From there, we inspect them individually and, if a cask is imperfect, its story will end here.
6. The Bottling
In fact, there’s no greater message on a bottle than Bunnahabhain. Our Master Distiller, Ian MacMillan will in charge of the marriage. He carefully make the colour, nose, flavour and consistency from several different casks, the marriage of which is the role of our Master Distiller, Ian MacMillan. He must match the elements and characteristics of many single casks to the unique taste profile of our welcoming signature malt.