Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Sherry first fill and refill
Added coloring: No
Owner: Burn Stewart Distillery plc.
Average price: € 39.00
Official website: bunnahabhain.com
After a long absence, we return to the core portfolio of this Islay distillery, with a NAS (no ageing statement) bottling launched in 2017, with the intention of partially replacing the 12 year old and thus giving its production some breathing space.
The unpronounceable name in Gaelic stands for “helmsman” (the one illustrated on the label), a term which, combined with that of the distillery, promises to provide moments of tasty hilarity to those who wish to order it at the bar.
Let’s be clear, I appreciate the charm of the Gaelic terms, to remember the tradition of which the whisky is an integral part, but sometimes it gives the idea that they take pleasure in finding the most complex terms to pronounce.
Gold in the glass.
Prunes and hazelnuts dominate the nose, surrounded by a marine salinity that is present but not too strong. A spicy touch of nutmeg, caramel, baked apple, a hint of damp wood and a slight alcoholic hint complete a rather light and incisive whole.
On the palate it gains in warmth with the contribution of sultanas infused in alcohol, biscuit malt, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of pepper) and chocolate. More wood soaked in ocean water, with a more pronounced mineral edge. Fairly light body, with the alcohol content tending to invade the space.
Medium-long finish, very mineral, cinnamon, plums, wood.
The desire to maintain the alcohol content of the base malt has, in my opinion, weighed heavily on this whisky, which given its lightness (and all in all easy drinkability) would have benefited from a lower alcohol content, which instead crushes an ensemble too fragile to fully support it.
Other bottlings in the blog:
Bunnahabhain 2007 French Brandy Finish
Bunnahabhain Fèis Ìle 2020
Bunnahabhain The Coterie Esclusive
Càrn Mòr Bunnahabhain 2004
Claxton’s Single Cask Bunnahabhain 16yo
Morisco Spirits Bunnahabhain Staoisha 7yo
Valinch & Mallet Bunnahabhain 22yo (2018)
Wilson & Morgan Bunnahabhain 2014