Bunnahabhain Distillery Island of Islay Scotland Whisky from 200 euros and over

Bunnahabhain 17yo Mòine Triple Cask Matured Fèis Ìle 2023

Review of a peated whisky in ex-Bourbon. sherry and rum

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Strength: 52.6%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry Oloroso and ex-Rum
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Burn Stewart Distillery plc.
Average price: € 250.00
Official website: bunnahabhain.com
Vote: 88/100

The only peated whisky for the 2023 Fèis triplet, in 1,740 bottles at a not exactly affordable price available only at the distillery and in their online shop, is the result of the union of different maturations of which very precise details are offered:
– ex-Bourbon casks filled on 2 February 2004 and then transferred on 22 July 2013 to first-fill ex-Sherry hogshead casks for a long finishing;
– distillate of 10 November 2004 matured entirely in ex-Bourbon barrels;
– ex-Bourbon casks filled on 16 February 2005 then transferred to ex-Rum casks on 7 December 2017 to complete maturation.
The idea comes from master blender Julieann Fernandez, who is particularly in love with the influence of ex-rum barrels, we’ll see if she’ll make me fall in love too!

Tasting notes

The nose is a little closed, taking time to open up beyond the initial effluvium of oily, coastal peat, with a good deal of brine scattered over grilled fruit (pineapple, peach, pear), plums, sultanas, marzipan, candyfloss and caramel. In length, the sweeter, sugary side prevails, always surrounded by a saline smoke. It plays on very calm tones, which you struggle to extract from the glass but pleasant nevertheless.
On the palate, it is nicely spiced (pepper, ginger, a hint of coriander) giving the impetus to a lively but calibrated alcohol content that underpins a mellow, vegetal peat of flowers, seaweed and leaves thrown into the bonfire over which fruit sizzles in quantity (blueberries, blackberries, pineapple, plums, apple, blood orange). In contrast to the nose, here the evocations are decisive and resounding, after the fruit comes Catalan cream, leather, juniper berries, roasted cane sugar, flambéed banana and cinchona, in a rather tempting sweet and bitter mix. Roasted coffee beans and fennel gratin in the background, with a saline trail.
Quite long finish of spices, ash and salt, popcorn, red fruits, vegetable notes and sugar syrup.

Cupid missed the mark, but even if there was no spark, I cannot say that this whisky leaves you indifferent, with a lively and exuberant palate that brings out the characteristics of all the casks used without one overpowering the other. A shame about the decidedly underwhelming nose, but the rest is definitely worth tasting.

Reviews of Bunnahabhain whisky

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