Day 23 – A.D. Rattray Bunnahabhain 1988 | Blog #112

Back to Islay today for one of my favorite Islay Distilleries. 

Bunnahabhain founded in 1881 it is now owned by the South African Distell group. Bunnahabhain boasts the more approachable Islay experience. Indeed it is a lot softer on the peat than the other distilleries on the island although in recent times there have been limited edition peatier expressions released.

Bunnahabhain Distilley Bunnahabhain Distilley

Just 8 miles from the the town of Port Askaig the Bunnahabhain distillery is near the northern tip of Islay looking out on the Isle of Jura.

This is the last whisky we will have in this years edition from A.D. Rattray and as the largest percentage of casks came from this great Independent bottler it is fitting to finish with something extra special.

A.D. Rattray Bunnahabhain 1988 27 Year Old – Aged in a sherry butt # 626 and bottled at the cask strength of 55.4% ABV.

Colour:     Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) hard wood complete with a reddish hue.

Nose:     This is just an incredible nose, Old leatherbound books in a mahogany chest, A big plate of Christmas pudding slices and gingerbread. Cavendish blend pipe tobacco. One of the most intriguing noses so far in this edition. I could just sit here and sniff this for ages.

Palate:     Warming Christmas spices and flaming brandy over Christmas pudding.

Finish:     Long and throat warming with ongoing waves of earthy sweet spices, the sherry makes a showing which it well should after 27 years.

Water:     Just had to see what a few drops would do given the unusually high ABV of 55.4% after 27 years. Opens to toffee and sticky dates on the nose with a burst of that old Cognac burnt orange character on the palate. Finishing with a healthy portion of brandy infused heavy cream to coat everything.

An old whisky just does not get any more Christmassy than this.

Joshua gives us his take on this big sherried Bunnahabhain HERE

Last year on this day in the 1st edition we had the Wemyss Ginger Spice Glenrothes 1988 in blog #55

If you like this Bunnahabhain as much as I do you can find one of only 48 bottles available from these retailers:


Crowfoot Wines and Spirits

Coop Wine Spirits Beer

Willow Park Wines and Spirits

J. Webb Wine Merchants

Zyn The Wine Market


Wine & Beyond

Mmmm … well I have to say that things are shaping up well for Christmas. I hope that most of your shopping is done and that you can share some special time with family and friends.

Tomorrow we head to a brand new distillery not yet represented in either edition. Wemyss have the honor of providing our Christmas Eve dram this year and I know that is going to be perfect for ushering in Christmas day.

Look forward to see you tomorrow …



  1. Margaret Blue says:

    This is what I have been waiting for- smooth as silk, yet has a gentle warmth that chases the frost out of my bones. Dry- tannin-like effect- Scents of papaya, butterscotch and hazelnut – flavours of cayenne, grapefruit, honeysuckle and roasted buckwheat – not too sweet, not too hot – just right for this mama bear. Thanks to papa bear- who let me have the whole llittle bottle.

    • Jonathan Bray says:

      Merry Christmas Margaret

      So glad you enjoyed this delicious Bunnahabhain and so very nice that you got the bottle all to yourself 🙂

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