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Bn4 - Elements of Islay

Average score from 2 reviews and 2 ratings 85

Bn4 - Elements of Islay

Product details

  • Brand: Bunnahabhain
  • Bottler: Speciality Drinks Ltd
  • Series: Elements of Islay
  • ABV: 54.5%

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Bn4 - Elements of Islay

Bunnahabhain distillery was founded in 1881 by William Robertson and the Greenless brothers William and James. Production started in earnest in 1883 and in 1887 the distillery was integrated into Highland Distilleries Company Ltd. Production continued uninterruptedly until 1982 when the distillery was closed for two years. It was reopened in 1984 and in 1989 was acquired by the Edrington Group. In 2003 Bunnahabhain distillery was sold to Burn Stewart Distillers, together with the 'Black Bottle' brand. This expression was bottled by Specialty Drinks Ltd, having been ‘approved’ by Hideo Yamaoka.

The nose is surprisingly smoky and quite fruity. Vanilla, lemon and honey flavours are all there, followed by hints of smoked ham and a touch of iodine.

The palate is medium-bodied, rather spicy and smoky. The lemon flavours are back, now accompanied by pineapple and a sweet maltiness. With water the spiciness diminishes and notes of brine appear.

The finish is of medium length and very dry. Flavours of lemon and white pepper round this off.

Tasted blindly I would never say that this is a Bunnahabhain. It is nicely smoky, and a drop of water brings out the very best in it. This was fun!


Elements of Islay Bn4, a dark and sweet character made from the collections of Bunnahabhain. I only had a chance to take few tastes of this on a road trip to Taivaanranta distillery in Finland. So I'm not the best judge.

Because I want to write about each SIGNIFICANT WHISKY tasting, this one counts as well, though my sightings might not be the most accurate ones. Elements of Islay Bn4 tasting was made in a minibus, in a hurry, so I'll keep the review just as short.

In my opinion Elements of Islay Bn4 followed the nice path of un-peaty Islay by Bunnahabhain. It was sweet and robust like a lovable Disney character in the middle of Mordor.

That's why I decided to call it Elsa Van Helsing, the gothic girl from Tim Burton's Frankenweenie.

Nose: Sweet, earthly and floral.

Taste: Rough and oily dram with hints of brown sugar and wood. I think I spotted hints of sweet peat as well.

Finish: Quite long and robust. There's oil quite a bit but not in a disturbing way, suits well with the earthly and spicy character.

Balance: Seemed nicely in balance, exciting combination of dark, earthly and sweet flavors.

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