Legend has it that the Gaelic sea god, Lìr, favors the shores of his realm with rare and costly gifts. A few of these treasures can be found on the northeastern coast of the Scottish island of Islay, the “Queen of the Hebrides,” where 198 bottles of rich gold liquid are carefully housed at the historic Bunnahabhain Distillery. Founded in 1881, helmsman once risked their lives to deliver the barley that is required to produce the island’s best-known commodity.
Meaning “the great waves of the god Lìr,” Bunnahabhain’s 46-year-old Eich Bhana Lìr is the distillery’s oldest single malt whisky. Bottled at 41.8%, it has a complex, elegant, aromatic nose of old leather with candied orange peel and Manuka honey. On the palate, it is a rich, silky balance of malt, citrus, and roasted nuts with a long, spicy finish. Expert Italian glassblowers and metalworkers handcrafted the bottles to capture the waves that 19th-century mariners once defied to reach the shores of Bunnahabhain bay.