Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry Oloroso
Added coloring: No
Owner: Burn Stewart Distillery plc.
Average price: € 50.00
Official website: bunnahabhain.com
When it’s an independent bottler offering its own version of peated Bunnahabhain, by convention the name used is Staoisha, when it was the distillery in 2008 it called it Toiteach (smoked in Gaelic), shining with particular inventiveness.
This second version (A Dhà, number two) arrived about ten years later, inspired by the original recipe but with a greater influence of ex-sherry casks, in a proportion of three to one compared to ex-bourbon casks, a 40ppm peatiness and a decidedly popular price.
I won’t dwell on the pronunciation, but if you are familiar with Klingon you will come pretty close.
The nose is immediately very marine, iodine and salt climb up the nostrils dragging a good dose of coastal peat, in which the smoke is more of a sidekick than a protagonist. Citrus fruits (lemon and candied orange peel), white fruits (peach, apple, pear, melon), grilled peppers, cinnamon, almonds… the ash part becomes more intense with time at the expense of the iodine one, with a few hints of roughness and the sweet and candied part increases. Simple but with character.
In the mouth, orange returns in its sweet form with a generous dose of pepper and ginger, the smoke is full-bodied (almost like an oil lantern) and the coastal soul appears resigned, in favour of liquorice, baked apple, nutmeg, malt, macadamia, cinchona and tobacco leaves. The iodine aspect tends to regain strength without, however, reaching the heights of the nose, veering towards grilled fish evocations.
The finish is quite long with intense, agricultural smoke with liquorice, orange marmalade, cinnamon, salt and a slight balsamic inflection.
For the price range in which it is positioned, and for its probable youth, a whisky that shows personality and elegance, with enough structure to make far more emblazoned drams envious, an excellent example of balance between casks and peat.