Bunnahabhain has been part of the island’s history since 1881 and we have a lot of wonderful correspondence with stories of craft, heritage and adventure.
One such story is hinted at in these letters from 1889. On the left, is a letter from the management of that day, informing the Bunnahabhain distillery manager that ‘dramming’, the practice of allowing workers a non-duty paid drink during the working day, was to be halted on orders from The Board.
The second letter is a full and informative, handwritten description of the distillery – right down to the type and number of valves beneath each still. Well, when you love your craft as much as everyone here does, there’s no such thing as too much detail. This is just a taste of our historical records, the majority of which are now stored in the Glasgow University archives for safekeeping.
At Bunnahabhain we believe that news and tales of our home are vital to our people. The Ileach, meaning native of Islay, is the local newspaper reporting on Islay news. Its white pages are often the only place that Islanders, both at home and abroad, can read about events that are shaping their home. Now, with over a quarter of a century of reporting under its belt, it is proud to have over 3,000 readers.
If it is unlikely that you will see the Ileach on your local newsstand, but you’d like to hear of any happenings from our distillery, please fill out our registration form.
Our old ledgers have some pretty interesting secrets housed in them. As you may have heard we recently discovered a 40year old Bunnahabhain hiding in one. This ledger, kept in the old manager’s office shows us the staff payroll from the week ending 10th January, 1968. It reminds us of a time when we measured our output in bushels (36.37 litres) and we paid staff in shillings (one twentieth of a pound).
You can fly to Islay, but to see the island from the water is to view it as the first Ileach (Islay local) would have. And who knows what tales you’ll have to tell of your wonderful journey. The ferry is expertly run by Caledonian MacBrayne and travels twice daily in winter and three times daily in the summer season. You’ll sail from Kennacraig on the mainland to either Port Askaig or Port Ellen - and from there it is a short drive to your first taste of our welcoming malt.
Our heritage and the desire for perfection inbuilt into each of us here demands that we push the artisan process to its limits to create a truly exceptional and unique single malt whisky.