Bunnahabhain 12 Years Old

Bunnahabhain 12 Years Old

What they say

Our 12 year old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky was the beginning of our Bunnahabhain range, launched to fanfare and praise alike. Taste the origins of Bunnahabhain with an alluring balance of sweet fruit, nuts, vanilla and a delicate coastal influence.

As the original member of our current Core Range, Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old holds a special place in our hearts. First launched in 1979, the Bunnahabhain 12 year old has endured almost 40 years, thanks to the passion and dedication of our distillery team, not to mention the love and support from our fans and friends around the world.

Our 12 Year Old has set the tone and the benchmark for the rest of the range – only the best will do. Double Matured in Ex Bourbon and Ex Sherry Casks, this whisky is beautifully rich and full-bodied, achieving the perfect balance of the characteristic nutty and sherry flavours of Bunnahabhain.


  • COLOUR Russet gold
  • NOSE Fresh and aromatic, fruity floral with hints of dried fruit and a subtle prevalence of smoke.
  • PALATE Light with fruit notes, nutty flavours with a sweetness and slight hints of vanilla and caramel.
  • FINISH Lingering, beautifully rich and full-bodied.

What I say

Celebrating Bunnahabhain day on 4th June for Feis Ile 2021. The Masterclass Tasting panel started with a tasting of the core range 12 Years Old. I’ve had several bottles over the years but sadly only wrote notes from the first (or possibly 2nd or 3rd?) of these. Nice to revisit and set the scene for the following Feis Ile 2021 editions.

  • ABV 46.3%
  • Age 12 Years Old
  • Bottler Official
  • Bottling Core range
  • Cask Mixed
  • Category Single Malt Whisky
  • Cost £38
  • Origin Bunnahabhain Distillery
  • Outturn n/a
  • Region Islay
  • Released 2021
  • Vintage Undeclared

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance Old Sauternes gold with ruby highlights (11/20), medium-large tears and long, medium-fine legs.
  • Nose Toffee, nutty, vanilla, tablet, fudge, dried fruits, raisin, fig, and some dried orange peel, mineralic sea spray, cereal malty barley, hints of coppery metallic, roasted chestnuts and a touch of wood smoke, leather and walnut.
  • Taste Medium-full bodied, oily and palate-coating, rich caramel and chocolate and also cracked black pepper, molasses, spiced gingerbread, vanilla, nutty toasted almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg, Christmas pudding, some salty dried leather.
  • Finish Medium-long, chocolate, caramel and mixed spices persist.
  • Overall Something about the caramel, nut and chocolate combination enhanced by a sprinkle of smoked sea salt adding that depth and richness means Bunnahbhain is so moreish for me. I still rate this as one of the best 12 year old whiskies.

Score 84/100

Available from Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange

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