Bunnahabhain distillery was constructed in 1881 by the Greenlees brothers, and first opened its doors in 1883. It's located on the island of Islay, with 11 employees and four massive stills – among the biggest in the industry, alongside Glenmorangie.
Recently re-released with new packaging to signify the distillery’s move to un-chilfiltered Whiskies, Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old is a lightly smoked malt. Somewhat untypical of other Islay products, this is a delicate expression of the characteristic peated smoke that is normally found in Islay Whiskies.
Not only is there that light smokiness, but the Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old also has a fruity sweetness that combines with a subtle vanilla undertone. There is also a beautiful tang of sea air, a homage to the rough rocky shores that surround this malts coastal home. All in all the Bunnhabhain 12 Year Old is an exploration in softer smoke tones and has a great variety of flavours to complement this.
It will appeal to peat veterans as an interesting exploration, while those new to peat will welcome it openly and happily. Cheers!
N: Pulling the cork, and before I can even pour it in a glass, there's a big aroma of butterscotch candy. Given a little time in a glencairn, I get applebutter, burnt sugar, and subtle peat in the form of a little cigar smoke.
P: Very rich dessert flavors of fruit pies, toffee, peppermint bark. There is some cinnamon and ginger spiciness.
F: Sweet, rich, and slightly fatty smokiness of candied nuts.
If you wanted crème brulee with the toasted sugary crust, but didn't know how to cook, this would be a reasonable substitute.
I guess I don't like sherry cask finished scotches. This was my first sherry finished sxotcht. I can appreciate the complexity, and it is really smooth. The sherry notes just didn't taste as good as I'd imagined.
Try the Lasanta from Glenmorangie in my opinion it is much better than Bunnahabhain. It is available in a cheap gift set with 3 other finishes so you do not have to commit to a whole bottle. Me and a friend tried both side by side and concluded that the Lasanta from Glenmorangie is far better.
Not as good as I hoped. It has a lot of character but is not the sipping kind of whiskey I prefer. Adding a few drops of water does help a bit.
Stellar example of how wonderfully balanced an Isla can be. Nice rounded peat with a lovely light salted note followed by a long sweet sherry finish. Almost a peanutty aroma with sweet influence. Beautiful naturally deep color and non chill filtered is always a plus.
Good intro to Islay Scotch. Mild peat smoke and overall softer flavors than other Islay examples.
Unbelievable.. for the money it's the best out there!
Almost no odor, great balanced flavor but metallic on the aftertastes.
Semisweet chocolate at first on the nose before fading. Plus other notes of toffee , sea air, and a little orange/lemon that grows over time. Flavor notes of honey, wood, slight orange again, and shortbread cookie. Never really got any smoke. Very solid but falls short of great.
Outstanding scotch!! Extremely flavorful; a good scotch to sit with on a cold night. Definitely one you have to keep on the shelf for company. Second only to Lagavulin 16 for me. Exceptional!
Good Islay whiskey. I get a lot of sweet vanilla and malt of the palate...with sweet peatiness and smoke on the finish.
I love this whiskey. Great balance of flavors and very unique among the Islay whiskeys.
Complex and delicious with a touch of smoke at the end. Will be buying another bottle of this.
One of my new favorite distilleries to buy. This is excellent dram for sherry-cask lovers. The sherry is right up front, but not overpowering - and it slowly gives way to all the fruit and spice. The smoke is there, but I think it's muted a bit by the surrounding flavors. Love this bottle.
I had a bottle of their Stiùireadair earlier this year and loved it as well. Similar flavors but in different levels.
I didn't want to rate this until I sat down for a second time with the bottle. Color - Lovely golden walnut color. Nose - Vanilla, Dark Fruits, Raisins, Fruit Cake... very pleasant and lovely nose. Taste - muted, oak spices, slight nutty flavor, tinge of earthiness... overall not as tasty as some other Single Malts I have had. Finish - It does linger, kind of better than the actual tasting. To me there is more after you have swallowed then mid swig. Would I buy this again once this bottle is gone? Unlikely... would I try a different finish in the future or age? Most certainly!
if this were a baseball game, I thought the 12 would have been a doubles hitter - turns out the 12 is a power hitter... a delicious scotch... don't come to this Islay scotch if you are looking for lots of peat and come here with an explosion of flavors
Great spice and smoke combo. Nothing quite like it!
It's not the 18, but that's about all the bad I can say about this. Great scotch. Sweet, apples, salt, carmel, spice, hint of smoke, nutty oaky finish. Nothing not to like. Would always have available.
OK but not what I expected from Islay. Very good, just not peaty. Wouldn’t turn it down though!
Usually a Bourbon and Irish guy, but I decided to try to get into peat. I've tried peated whisk(e)y before but it was too much for me, hence why I got this one. Now that I bought a bottle, I have to ask myself why I waited so long to buy this one.
Even for a neck pour, I knew that this was my new favorite scotch. Fruity, silky and sticky mouthfeel, caramels, vanillas, some spice and minor smokiness at the end. If this is the start of the bottle, I can only imagine how wonderful it will be when it opens up!
great smoke and peat from the moment the seal was broke and in every dram. another islay gem.
Great combination of smoke and beautiful sweetness. This should be a staple in the cabinet.
Ripe banana, honey, pepper. No peat. Like a good rye.
I truly enjoy this scotch. It takes the place of a bourbon about once a week. I have been a little disappointed with some of the bourbons I have purchased lately. I have decided to purchase scotch for awhile and see what I can find.
Not a favorite. It was a standard whisky without many flavors to pick out. Very simple
Very nice. Light peat, just a hint.
Top quality for a 12.
Very easy to drink. Slight smoky taste on the finish but not overwhelming.
Really nice. The smoke and sherry mix well. Smooth body and good long finish.
My wife and I like very different single malts. She is a Highland / Speyside girl and I am Islay all the way. This is the only scotch that we both really like. Not too peaty/smoky for her but just enough Islay is its blood to make me happy. A very good scotch.
Not as smokey as many Islays. Great value.
A very good scotch for the money, complex and balanced with excellent sweet and nutty flavor, interesting smoke/coastal lingering flavor
I found this to be pretty unique, particularly for an Islay whiskey. Didn’t get much smoke initially, maybe a hint on the finish. Nose for me was mostly sherry and apple. Initial flavors on the palate were sweet sherry with hints of caramel, giving way to some cinnamon spice and orange zest. With some water it got a little dryer with some oak or nutty notes
Fantastic, at a great price! A must buy
Nice and smooth. Not as peaty as I expected. Bits of fruit and chocolate on the palate.
Rich and sherried. Not as smokey as I expected, making it really well-balanced. Very good!
One of my first Islay drams.. This does not disappoint. Worth much more so buy it now while you can at this price.. Bunnawesome!!
What else can I say. This is worth every penny. Solid dram!
Not my favorite straight, but on the rocks, it's decent.
A fascinating whisky. This one comes at you with a lot of surprises. Light sweet smoke on the nose with caramel and a hint of sawdust. Maraschino cherry on the palate and dark chocolate and spice on the finish.
I was surprised this one had little to no peat in it. Smoky oak wood and a nice sweet finish. The smoke is strong but well balanced with a salty palate
Love this unique Islay. This is one of the few scotches where I completely disagree with Flaviar's spiral - there is next to no smokiness in this scotch. It's very lightly peated. The nose is sweet and inviting - caramel, vanilla, spice. The palate follows but expands into bright fruits, more caramel and lots of delicious oak. The slightest hint of peat appears as you let the scotch expand on your palate. Some light peat (in this case, different from smoke) comes in during the finish and the oak really cements itself. Being non-chill filtered, higher ABV and E150 free really makes this a top-notch 12 year. Thick, oily mouthfeel. Overall delicious, satisfying scotch.
More sherry than peat - not my favorite
Nice balance of fruit and light smoke. A good companion to other Islay whiskies.
Really like this. Still getting used to smokey scotch. Like this stuff, good amount of smokey, peaty flavor without overwhelming other flavors.
My introduction to a single malt Scotch. I was not disappointed. I love the smoky-peaty flavor. Instantly became my favorite.
My “go to” Scotch
Love this! So smooth and surprisingly not peaty; rather a woodiness. Bunnahabhain has a permanent spot in my home bar. I highly recommend!
I like this one! Not as peaty as some Islay Scotches I have tried. A very pleasant flavor. My palate is not all that well-developed yet, but it tastes sweet to me. Will buy again.
Beautiful and smooth
I'm still figuring out Scotch, having been a bourbon drinker. This one was quite a good bottle.
I love the tastes of sherry and caramel that linger. Just a touch of peat. One of my favorites!
I watched a documentary on Islay and decided it would be fun to order in a bottle from each of the distilleries. I did a tasting with a few close friends and I decided the Bunnahabhain was my favorite of the lot. Most friends agreed. I’m not a fan of heavy peat smoke so this was perfect for me.
The third of my standard bottles (with Clynelish 14 and Glengoyne 12). Big fan of the fruit/sherry notes here, with enough complexity to keep me interested.
Overall a solid Scotch. A nice flavor pallet, a bit of a kick, and a nice, long-lasting finish. Just missing that “special something” for me.
I'm a fan of Lagavulin, but this less peaty, lightly smoked malt is now one of my very favorites.
lighly peated islay scotch
So damn good
Sherry coats the palette. A wet drink to start with a mild dry finish that let's out the oak.
A very good sipping whisk(e)y. Not as peaty as other Islay offerings. Something you can come back to over and over. Nice smokeyness to it still, flavors will linger for a while.
Smooth with a pleasant after taste.
Bunnahabhain 12 year a refreshing with a little less turf you should expect with an Islay whisky.
Starting with soft fresh tones on the nose, sweet tending to hints of flowers and dried fruit.
Surrounded with somekind of smokeyness.
Alcolhol percentage 46,3%
Good to combine with a cigar > Hajenius Petit Corona (shortfiller)
good stuff, unsweetened bitter mocha slightly hot finish
Sherry, candied nuts, oaky cask...
Hands down my favorite unpeated scotch
As my first scotch tasting, I found this smooth and complex. Worth the price as I get started & learn about the flavors.
Complex, smooth and reasonably priced. So far, my favourite Scotch.
This is scotch!! Not heavy on the peat, smooth on tongue, and proof that you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy top shelf scotch
An amazing Islay Whisky but without the peat smoke. It has some complexity to it which makes it a very enjoyable dram. I absolutely recommend this one to everyone I get the chance to do so. You will not go wrong with this bottle.
Long lasting bite and sweetness that changes throughout with the woody notes
I enjoyed it. I liked the mild peat and fruit notes. A nice Scotch to sit and enjoy. Worth the price.
Not good. Did not go well with my tast buds.
Always a great middle between lighter scotch and heavy peat!
My first experience with an Islay Scotch, and my second whiskey overall, and I have to tell you it's wonderful. If you're looking for a heavy or even moderate Peat this is not the one to get. But if your looking for an introduction to an Islay I strongly recommend you give this one a chance. You'll enjoy the complexity this one offers.
My favorite of the Islay products. A subtle hint of peat and smoke surrounding rich fruit flavors from pear to black cherry. Changes character to a salty bite at the finish. A pure delight.
Smoke-ish, very light peat with lasting notes of vanilla, warming and complex
I thought I would like it more, but for a full flavor it is very nice.
Islay, but not peaty. Great notes and tells a story, but super easy to drink for a single malt.
Very nice. Not as smokey as I expected from an Islay whisky, though it has peat character. The interesting thing is the vanilla and fruits, not very common on this malts.
Very nice smooth scotch
Very smokey. Didn’t quite expect it because the initial smell was light. Very heavy in the mouth but the spices hit the back of your tongue in a very satisfying way. Most of the heat presents itself in your throat. Only then did I taste the nuts. Tiny hints of vanilla emerged with 2 drops of water. If you rub it in your hands you can smell the nuts as the alcohol runs away. Very pleased with this malt.
this Scotch was smooth and not peaty at all. I loved it and would definitely purchase it again!
A nice mild Islay. Similar to Bowmore, but a bit more subtle, complex, and smoother. Ends with a surprisingly wonderfully full finish.
Smooth. Fruity, nutty, slightly spicy. very sweet finish. Enjoyed it very much.
Nose has lots of caramel, toffee smells. Very creamy scotch. Not much peatiness or smoke for my taste, but that may just be because my tastebuds are burnt out from Laphroig. :) Great drink nonetheless when I'm looking for something lighter.
Almost superb. Almost :) I would not mind getting it for a present but I would not buy it.
Wow! The MacAllan was for me the best scotch I had ever tasted, until this beauty arrived at my door. I am not a fan of overwhelming peat, so this one was right down my alley
Nose is a lovely mix of soft vanilla and caramel with a hint of smoke and coastal air on the back end. The sweet sherry influences hit the top note on the palate, with traces of caramel and nuttiness in the middle, and ends with a bitterness not unlike savoring extra-dark chocolate, which lingers during the finish with a touch of sea salt and smoke. A very complex scotch that belies its age. My personal favorite.
Good daily scotch. Well balanced with sweet and smoky
I love smokey, peaty Islay malts - this particular Islay malt takes a more delicate approach to the smoke and largely leaves the peat behind. Instead, there's more emphasis on sherry and vanilla, particularly in the aroma. Also surprisingly smooth! Really enjoy it.
Really enjoyable scotch. Notes of caramel and apple on the nose. The sweetness really opens up with a little water. Finishes with a hint of salt and smoke.
This whisky is both sweet and complex, without the normal smokey essence typical to Islay Scotches. I’m an instant fan!
Super Smooth! Sweet and right for the pallet. Something to drink to great music or with friends.
Too smokie for me, it is almost a peat. I'm not a fan of peat.
Very smooth Scotch that is worth the price. Definitely one of my top choices now. Excellent!
Bunnahabhain 12 Year is a very good delicate Scotch with a birth of vanilla fudge & barley grist leading to a life of fresh sea spray, berry & nut; blending into a gentle death.
The older versions get extremely pricey over $1,000-$3,000. So I figured the more affordable 12 year old has to be delish. I was right on and this is in my top 10 to drink with friends for somewhat special occasions.
The briny, almost salted caramel and dried fruit on the palette with a smooth lingering finish kept me coming back for more. Excellent coastal style dram!
Excellent. Very smooth
Probably an 8 1/2 for me. Not quite the 18, but delicious.
A smooth yet rough complex experience.
Very nice, smokey vanilla, and sherry. nice balance.
Smooth and smoky!
An average single malt scotch. Not bad, but nothing fantastic.
Quaich Bar tasting set - slightly too salty and smoky for me
awesome- 12 year is as good as many 18 years
A really fine and yet rough whisky, salty sweetness pairs with nutty caramel smoke. Delicious!