Bunnahabhain Pulls a 46-Year-Old Whisky From its Vaults

Scotland’s Bunnahabhain distillery, owned by Distell out of South Africa, is considered to offer up a more mild form of your typical Islay whisky profile. First founded in 1881, for its latest release it has dug deep into its aging archives to unveil Eich Bhana Lìr, a 46-year-old expression with a hefty price tag.

The new Bunnahabhain Eich Bhana Lìr 46-Year-Old, according to those behind it, spent its entire life aging in ex-oloroso sherry butts in one of the distillery’s warehouses, which are situated close to the sea on the rugged northeastern coast of this whisky island. It’s been bottled at 41.8% ABV, and just 198 bottles are available for this release.

Italian glassblowers and metalworkers put together the special bottle for this release, portraying on it the waves of the Islay sea crashing into Bunnahabhain bay. You’ll find limited official tasting notes for it at the end of this article, and should you choose to throw down for a bottle expect to drop around £5,000, or close to $6,500 USD.

Bunnahabhain Eich Bhana Lìr

The name Eich Bhana Lìr, by the way, means the great waves of the God Lìr, who was the ruler of the sea in local Gaelic mythology.

“We are extremely proud to be able to showcase this truly unique and luxurious dram created in the most remote corner of Islay,” said Derek Scott, Distell’s Brand Director for Malts, in a prepared statement. “The distillery’s northerly location on the island exposes the casks, in our shore side warehouses, to the sea and elements, making it an idyllic place for the whisky to mature. We are passionate about the uniqueness of Bunnahabhain’s special malts and the 46 Year Old Eich Bhana Lìr, features the full depth of flavours, aromas and character that makes Bunnahabhain a consistently award-winning single malt.”

Deep gold in colour with an aromatic, elegant and complex nose of old leather with candied orange peel and Manuka honey. On the palate, it is rich and silky – a refined balance of malt, citrus and roasted nuts with a satisfyingly long and spicy finish.

About the author

Nino Marchetti

As the founder of The Whiskey Wash, I'm crazy about whiskey, I can tell you, and I aim to share this passion with you through this site. As for my professional background, I’m a writer and journalist by trade and an Internet dot-com veteran prior to that. My most recent venture prior to this was as the founder and editor-in-chief of EarthTechling, a leading consumer focused green technology news website. I also have an extensive collection of whiskies from both start up distilleries and centuries old operations in Scotland alike, sprinkled with some other odds and ends from around the world, that have provided me with a unique picture of what’s going on with this wonderful spirit.