Whisky Review: SMWS 10.190 Bunnahabhain 2013 6 Years Old “Make Moine a Devil!”

Style: Sherry, Peaty and Spicy

Nose:
Begins with cranberries compote and candied roasted almonds. A glimmer of navel oranges leads to immense waves of spirit spice. Thousands of chilli flakes floating down onto seafood barbeque. Ham, brine and kombu balanced by honey aloe vera. Coconut shreds sink to the bottom, potato chips and sweet soy sauce brushed on grilled eggplants. Soft fresh-cut grass tail.

Palate:
An excellent Oloroso opening – juicy sweet cranberries and ruby grapes rolling out neatly with a satisfying weight. Molten raisin chocolate and spotted dick followed by an immediate mighty peppermint strike. Liquorice torched by peat smoke, orange and rock sugar shining through and fighting the heat. Bird’s eye chilli, toffee and treacle trickling down onto some fisherman’s friends. Hot, but rather sweet and reasonably structured.

Finish:
Red fruits soften and purring gently towards the end. More subtle oranges, grassy notes and black liquorice. The aftershock of lingering spice giving a slight tingling sensation. Busy and nice.

Thoughts:
Oh Moine Bunny, is Staoisha a thing? Yes, I think it is. The body is noticeably lighter than Port Charlotte, but that allows more spaces for casks and other elements to dance and perform. The balance might be a bit more delicate, and without the help of sherry cask, is it going to be too spicy and not enough flavours? Maybe, I will have to try more to tell, but for this second-fill Oloroso, it works like a charm.

☆ [Recommended]

[61.1%| Independent Bottling| Single Cask| Cask Strength| 616 Bottles| 2nd Fill Ex-Oloroso Sherry Butt | *]

-Esmond

Dram Review: The Whisky Agency and La Maison du Whisky Bunnahabhain Aged 33 Years

[45.8%・33 Years Old・Distilled in 1980・ Bottled in 2014・The Whisky Agency and La Maison du Whisky Joint Bottling・Single Cask Release of 495 Bottles]

Nose:

It is the elegant creaminess on first impression, with some syrup cured pineapples, French vanilla and a wee pinch of gingery spices.

Palate & Finish:

Sweet toffee, slightly salted, along with a robust café au lait note. Then the creaminess slowly subsides to reveal apricots and mangos.

A sweet and comforting finish of the barley sweetness, lasting.

Thoughts:

A lovey construction of a dram with the Sherry creaminess really adding to what I have come to enjoy about a well matured bunny. Not the most extravagant profile out there but surprisingly something that puts you in ease and in a good mood.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: The Whisky Agency Bunnahabhain Aged 24 Years

[48.3%・24 Years Old・Distilled in 1990・ Bottled in 2014・The Whisky Agency Bottling・Single Cask Release of 190 Bottles]

Nose:

Beautifully done polished mahogany, berries and bright candied ginger atop a buttery body, with the malt playing well in a complimentary role which in time turns into wet grass with a touch of coastal saltiness.

Palate & Finish:

Caramel with zesty oranges on the palate before the dram taking an unexpected turn with a lager like maltiness.

A shorter finish with the maltiness dispersing.

Thoughts:

A bit of variance stylistically from nose to palate with this dram, not quite coherent enough but really can’t fault the rather marvellous aromas.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: Silver Seal Bunnahabhain 1980 “Whisky is Art” 34 Years Old

Style: Sweet and Malty

Nose:

Vanillic malt gleaming beautifully at the front, followed by overripe white and yellow fruits, calm, sweet and round aroma. Wood shavings laying at the bottom, while spearmint echoing gently. Very faint hint of shellfish and tar at the background.

Palate:

High concentration of malt converges at the front, sweet and delicious. Beautiful white fruits – fresh and tinned peaches, nectarines served with a slice of apple pie. A light drizzle of passionfruit syrup, peppermint dressed on the side. Mini pineapple jelly, ink etched deeply into wood planks as oak sinks in, also taking a hint of Earl Grey. Barley husk bringing in some subtle dryness which is quickly balanced by vanilla cream at its tail.

Finish:

Spontaneous showing of barley husk and barley sugar, white fruits regress and the sweetness gradually fades out.

Thoughts:

A mighty fine, old-school Bunnahabhain we have here. Not often you see a Bunny can unleash its potential and reach the highest order, but this dram has managed to set one foot into the realm of brilliance. Beautiful, peaceful interpretation of malt – so condensed, so pure, which is exquisitely empowered by the white fruits which carves such a lovable expression. Maybe it is a bit too confined within the malt and barley as the other elements are on the weaker side, but it remains a great drop to be cherished.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[46.6% | Independent Bottling | 1980 Distilled | 2014 Bottled | 270 Bottles | Cask Number: 84 | Cask Strength | Single Cask | **-]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Bunnahabhain 1997 Palo Cortado Cask Finish

Style: Sweet and Lightly Smoky

Nose:

Plenty of malt juice rolling in, green herbs placed on the side, stewed yellow fruits and agar agar. A dash of white pepper, vanilla pod and cinnamon stick. Pencil shavings, green cucumber, throwing in a few cranberries. Tarry smoke gently clinging on, nice.

Palate:

Pretty much mirroring what the nose has suggested, a fine stream of liquid malt running and forming the core of the expression. Yellow fruits – papaya, pineapple and mangoes thoroughly stewed and stir in with coconut jelly and more agar agar. Fresh green grass and aloe vera swaying on the side, while tarry peat gradually precipitates to bottom. Another light dose of white pepper, dark cherry chocolate, taking a hint of chicken broth at the tail. Delicious.

Finish:

Molten milk chocolate mixed with malt syrup, cherries, ruby grapes and cranberries coming through while some ashy tar lingers till the end.

Thoughts:

Sometimes a good whisky can really paint a picture, and boy, this is one of those – Imagine a small river passing a malt barn, tall green grass growing alongside the water, fragrance of fresh red berry shrubs diffusing through the air and mixing with light, distant coal fire smoke… A pretty scenic picture isn’t it? Of course there is imagination involved. But this dram does offer a good structure as well as a sense of serenity; a gentle, positive vibe which makes it highly enjoyable.

☆ [Recommended]

[54.9% | Original Bottling | 1997 Distilled | 2018 Bottled | Aged 20 Years | Cask Strength | Non Chill Filtered | Non Coloured | Sherry Cask finish for 2 Years | *+]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Three Rivers Tokyo Bunnahabhain Aged 26 Years “The Dance”

[49.8%・26 Years Old・Distilled in 1987・Bottled in 2014・Three Rivers Tokyo Bottling・Cask No. 2461・Single Cask Release of 179 Bottles]

Nose:

Fine layer of gentle cask led raisins, light brush of cherries as well. The oak and a light smoke combine to lead out more and more dark fruits and liquor soaked sultana.

Palate & Finish:

Dark fruits rush in with a dry chocolate undertone, black cherry compote, wood and leather politely easing in as the dried orange slices tie the fruitcake spices together with the subtle tannins.

Banana bread served with syrup laced walnuts, a nice touch of earthiness to round things.

Thoughts:

A delicate Sherried Bunnahabhain, fleeting moments of mesmerising tenderness as time slows down on the dance floor so the label suggests.. infatuating even with it being just a touch bitter..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Bunnahabhain Distilled 1963

[43.0%・33 Years Old・Distilled in 1963・Bottled in 1997・Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Some orchard fruits in play, but also slightly showing its age with the leathery note and hazelnuts brushing past.  Bitter cocoa dust layered on the mildly floral citrus marmalade note as a hint of muddy wet grass mellowly runs underneath.

Palate & Finish:

Quite a pleasant burst of juicy white fruits seasoned with ginger powder.  Smooth milk chocolate and toffee swirl carrying some bitter notes from the oak.

Mildly malty and settle into a medium finish of brown sugar and leather.

Thoughts:

The specs might elicit unjust expectations but in saying that this is a restrained dram that is well put together, a bit aged and a bit simple that’s all.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Bunnahabhain 17 Years Old Distilled 1965

[40.0%・17 Years Old・Distilled in 1965・Gordon & MacPhail Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Majestically Sherried.  predominately leather but also comes with dates, walnuts, dried fruits and a hint of deep floral note, so essentially Christmas pudding like.

Palate & Finish:

The delivery is gooey and drying at the same time, sweet ripe fruits but also earthy with the leather and bitter chocolate.  Thin layer of toffee together with lychees, dark plums and cherries make up for the background.

A mild tail, dried, earthy and tannic.  Soft traces of dark honey flavoured popcorn to go with the wood.

Thoughts:

Excellent dark Sherry, the tension between the sweetness and the oak is exceptionally captivating, such a compelling dram..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Bunnahabhain Aged 28 Years Cask No. 7713

[43.5%・28 Years Old・Distilled in 1989・Bottled in 2017・Bottled for Kevin & Steve・Cask No. 7713・Single Cask Release of 100 Bottles]

Nose:

Ultra fruity and stupendously expressive, tropical fruits, Nashi pears, candy floss and some rosemary as well.  Subtly waxy and oily with traces of menthol infused tobacco and traces of orange peels.  In time the nose grows quite powdery and more light floral notes sip out.

Palate & Finish:

A superbly fruity affair, succulent and juicy with plenty of crisp fruits dressed with light honey and apple vinegar.  Some white oak gives the delivery a dry edge but the base is nicely buttered, rather balanced with a crisp malt that’s quite velvety on the back palate.

Medium finish of malt, ginger flower and hint of menthol, traces of fruitiness everywhere..

Thoughts:

The fruitiness is quite charming at first but the dram is actually rather deceivingly malty, well picked! I am especially impressed with how Kevin and Steve decided to bottle at a lower ABV in order to accentuate the expressiveness of the nose.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Berry Bros & Rudd Bunnahabhain Exceptional Casks 1987 (Cask Ref 2484)

[49.7%・28 Years Old・Distilled in 1987・Berry Bros & Rudd Bottling・Cask No. 2484・Single Cask Release of 185 Bottles]

Nose:

A juicy number with soft pears and lemon twists, the malt lays a gentle foundation and complimented by the vanilla and sandalwood notes.  Fragrant barley aromas with hints of raspberry coulis and icing sugar.   Natural and attractive.

Palate & Finish:

Delicious burst of Nashi pears and lemons, with some Sunkist oranges and vanilla nougats also.  Golden honey and malty lager with the oak dipping in politely to give a touch of drying texture.  Some yeasty note and spices on the back palate.

Lingering traces of barley sugar and cinnamon spices in the finish with a wee touch of sweet pitted cherries.

Thoughts:

A tasty bunny that shows plenty of restraint, balanced and sophisticated.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas