Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach Scotch Pays Homage To Its Islay Origins

By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / November 28, 2014

CeobanachThe Bunnahabhain distillery, founded on Scotland’s island of Islay in 1881, is normally known for being on the lighter side of single malt Scotch from this region. Its master distiller Ian MacMillan is turning that notion on its head however seemingly with the recent debut of Ceòbanach, a whisky noted for having “intense Islay malt peatiness” reminiscent of the distillery’s Islay origins.

Ceòbanach, according to the distillery, draws its inspiration from Islay in the 1800s

when the community was dependant on peat for warmth, fuel and trade. A time when smoke from the open fires mingled with the salty sea air to create a ‘smoky mist’ you could taste.

It takes its name from Scots Gaelic for “smoky mist.”

“With the new millennium I decided to turn back the clock and recreate the original Bunnahabhain,” said MacMillan in a statement. “I have spent a decade regularly monitoring, nosing and tasting these whiskies as they matured. I always envisaged that this product would be perfect around 10 years old and I certainly have not been disappointed.”

Ceòbanach is a limited edition expression bottled at 46.3% ABV that is non-chill filtered and natural colored. It prices for around £60 ($94) and tasting notes for it are below per the distillery:

Nose: intense and pungent, with hints of fragrant smoke and light tar, and creamy notes of sweet oak and seaweed.

Taste: sweet maltiness, then a lovely balance of a tangy smokiness and vanilla notes, blending mellow and smooth. There are also hints of white pepper, bitter orange, liquorice and sea salt.

Finish: lingering, with flavours of oatcake and sea salt once more – with a peppery sweet smoke