Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Added coloring: No
Owner: Burn Stewart Distillery plc.
Average price: € 160.00
Official website: bunnahabhain.com
When you find yourself with a whisky that has undergone significant ageing, especially from a distillery for which you have a predilection, it’s normal that your expectations are of a certain level.
But you shouldn’t, given that the ageing of a distillate isn’t in itself a guarantee of quality, but then again, if the big companies often artificially darken their whiskies, there must be a reason…
This is not the case for the 18-year-old from Bunnahabhain who, although they initially opted for added colouring and chillfiltration, has for some years now renounced these artifices for their whiskies, which are presented in all their naturalness at 46.3% proof.
Elegant copper in the glass (how beautiful are natural colours??).
Rich and full-bodied on the nose, with a pastry breakfast soul with buttered brioche and apricot jam (the nice sugary and gelatinous kind), ginger biscuits, dried figs, sour cherries, nutmeg, orange and caramel. Idea of lacquered wood (almost like a cleaning product like Pronto).
The palate confirms itself as sweet and spicy, almost decadent, resuming the dense olfactory path with drier veins, where the fruit becomes more mature and fragrant with a load of sweet notes (toasted caramel) offset by less complacent tones (dark chocolate) and again the wood caressing the aromas. Far from being cloying, it is actually multifaceted, with an impression of peat and a whiff of iodine creeping through the flavours. Tobacco and leather in the background.
The finish is long and dry, with a hint of smoke over spice, wood, orange, toasted caramel and a pinch of salt.
A remarkable whisky, with Winter and almost Christmas evocations, which is rich and full, balanced in its aromas and nuances, confirming that it is the “other islander” who knows how to be personal and inventive.
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