Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Bunnahabhain 40 year old

Be a part of the ultimate moment in rarity as you head to the 2013 FNB Whisky Live at the Sandton Convention Centre in Sandton on November 6th to 8th to stand a chance of being one of only a handful of South Africans offered the privilege to taste the limited edition Bunnahabhain 40-year-old single malt Scotch whisky.

The whisky is not available in South Africa to purchase nor has it been tasted here before. Only 750 bottles were released in only a few countries in 2012 and beginning of 2013, numbered by hand and signed by master distiller, Ian MacMillan. If you were able to find a bottle from one of the international online whisky stores it would cost you about R32 000, which equates to about R3200 per tot, if you were to order it at a whisky lounge.

Ian will be conducting special tastings of this extraordinary whisky at the FNB Whisky Live Sandton festival, and by entering a competition at the Bunnahabhain stand, a lucky few will have the chance to be part of the ultimate moment in rarity by winning a tasting.

Bunnahabhain’s (pronounced Bū-na-ha-venn) distillery is situated on the north-eastern tip of Isle of Islay, world renowned for the whiskies produced there. And it was here in the warehouses dating back to 1881, that master distiller Ian MacMillan quite by accident discovered a number of forgotten casks when he noticed them on the distillery’s ledgers and went in search of these hidden gems.  It was one of Ian’s most exhilarating moments of his career, spanning over 40 years the same number of years the whisky quietly matured, when he stumbled upon this incredibly special find.

According to MacMillan, the whisky is one of the most unique in the world for a number of reasons. “Apart from the fact that the whisky spent four decades maturing, there are very few 40-year-old whiskies from Islay. In addition Bunnahabhain is the only distillery on Islay not to use peated malted barley when crafting single malts and as a result, the fruity, character of the whisky is more pronounced. Due to the close proximity to the sea of the warehouses where the casks are stored during maturation, a noticeable sea influence is evident in the finish.”

He adds that the taste of the Bunnahabhain 40-year-old mirrors the time it spent in wood. “Fragrant notes of sweet oak, hazelnuts, citrus peel and chocolate with hints of light smokiness on the nose. The taste is rich and complex balanced by heather honey, ginger chocolate, sweet fruits with a spicy and nutty finish and a hint of sea salt.”

The eagerly awaited Bunnahabhain 40- year-old’s label features the maritime history of the distillery, illustrating the whisky’s journey over the past four decades and is designed and signed by the renowned Scottish illustrator Iain McIntosh. The bottle is presented in a specially commissioned wooden  tube featuring a hidden compartment.

Also at the Whisky Live, you can taste the acclaimed range of Bunnahahain’s single malts in the main tasting hall at the festival and learn more about the 12- and 18- year-olds. Both received a gold medal each at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition and  the 25-year-old was awarded a double gold.

MacMillan will be conducting an exclusive workshop where you will have the rare opportunity to discover the stories and journeys of the single malts produced at Bunnahabhain. The workshop has very limited seating available and takes place on Friday, 8 November at 20.00. The cost is R110 per person and lasts an hour.

You can also book a private tasting of these elegant single malts and meet Pierre Meintjes, a whisky connoisseur and Master of the Quaich. The tastings are free of charge but are treated  on a first-come-first served basis and can be booked on the night at the Festival at selected times to be announced at the show.

Before and after the FNB Whisky Live Festival, you can get access to the exclusive Bunnahabhain VIP area at Cafe de la Salute from 17.00 to 19.00 and 21.00 to 23.00. The lounge is reserved for those who purchase Bunnahabhain at the restaurant during the promotional times.

Bunnahabhain’s single malts are un-chillfiltered, which is a return to the way whisky was made at Bunnahabhain many years ago. By not chill-filtering the whiskies, no flavours are taken away or added, and the whisky retains all of its depth of flavour, aromas, colours and character.

This allows the gentle, subtle notes of the malts to come through, providing a purer taste, nose and appearance.
Bunnahabhain has created exclusively for Whisky Live, a limited edition gift set containing an ice bucket and two whisky tumblers which are given as complimentary to those who purchase a bottle of either the Bunnahabhain 18- or 25-year-old. The gift set is available whilst stocks last.

Bunnahabhain is available at fine whisky stores and outlets and retails for about R599 (12-year-old), R899 (18-year-old) and R2399 (25-year-old)

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets