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Bunnahabhain Hogshead 733 Will Be A Seafaring Experience

Take two untypical men. Stick them in a restored former fishing boat from the 1940s and have them travel hundreds of miles in open waters from France to Scotland in it. Break said boat down and turn it into whisky barrels which will house whisky that eventually will be for sale. What do you have? A crazy, creative project from the Bunnahabhain distillery known as Bunnahabhain Hogshead 733.

Bunnahabhain, located in Scotland’s Islay whisky powerhouse region, has teamed up with self-described contemporary artists Maxime Berthou and Mark Požlep to produce what’s been called the first ever whisky finished in casks made from a former fishing boat. To do this, the pair first apparently got hold of a wooden, Brittany fishing vessel from 1941 and spent two long years painstakingly restoring it.

Bunnahabhain Hogshead 733
The former fishing ship which will eventually become Bunnahabhain whisky barrels (image via Bunnahabhain)

After said work was completed, they were now ready to embark on a 733 mile “sailing quest” from Trebeurden in Brittany, France. Their destination? Islay, of course. Assuming they don’t get off course or somehow hurt in the voyage, plans call for them to arrive at their end point by September’s end.

The distillery, after taking possession of the boat from the artists, will break down the now sea soaked oak ship and carefully craft handmade whisky casks from it. Whisky from Bunnahabhain will be finished in them for an unmentioned portion of time before being bottled.

So, you might wonder, why the Hogshead 733 project is being undertaken? Obvious marketing buzz aside, it also seems to have something to do with honoring the the “seafaring history” of the distillery. It is said Bunnahabhain’s “iconic Helmsman and his maritime stories having inspired the brand for generations.”

“The inspiration for this project stems from the human longing for new discoveries and nostalgia for traditional, handmade craftsmanship, something we’ve moved away from in today’s modern society,” said Berth in a statement. “For Mark and me, this is a journey about transformation, adventure, passion, labour and whisky. It has taken us two years to get to this stage and we are excited to finally be on our way to Bunnahabhain.”

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