The Bunnahabhain is one of the milder single malt Islay whiskies available and its taste varies greatly from other spirits to be found on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland. William Robertson of Robertsons & Baxter, whisky blenders and brokers in Glasgow founded Bunnahabhain Distillery in 1881, in partnership with the Greenlees Brothers from Campbeltown and with the name Islay Distillers Company Ltd. This became the Highland Distillers Company Ltd in 1887, when it merged with Glenrothes-Glenlivet.The original distillery had one pair of stills. This was doubled in 1963, at which time the floor matlings were removed. 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’. In 2017 Distell announced an £11 million investment in upgrading Bunnahabhain’s ‘scruffy’ appearance, and transform the site into a ‘world-class whisky destination’. The three-year upgrade programme began in 2019 with the demolition of shoreline warehouses, which will make way for a new visitor centre.