Hi again everyone,
I love Islay but don’t really love Bunna.
I’ve said before that Bunna isn’t my favourite distillery. It’s probably my least favourite Islay. I find a biting harshness in just about any bottling, maybe it’s just not for me. I guess it saves it for the people who enjoy it anyway and I know a lot of people do.
Today we’ve got an indie and two officials, let’s go by age.
Bunnahabhain 8 Gordon&MacPhail 43%
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: A lighter Toiteach. Very oily, mineral, smoke, engine oil, but some freshly squeezed lime juice balancing. Some alcohol, lemon juice, watermelon sweets.
Taste: Soft arrival, Ardbeg-esque lime juice, then heavy, very oily peat smoke kicks up, a little tingling oak. Engine oil, put out fire, over-revved car.
Finish: Medium length. Tangy lime, a little harsh oak.
Heavily peated, Toiteach style. A little better than Toiteach actually, and a good price too. A sample from the local whisky club.
Bunnahabhain 12 year old 46.3%
Nose: Some heat initially but quickly develops into lots of dried fruit and spice. Sherry evident with Brandy soaked raisins, dates, plums, cocktail cherries, sweet and syrupy, a small wisp of wood smoke. Creamy malt, some honey and vanilla. Rough heat showing up sometimes.
Water: Very creamy and smooth with banana, baked apple and pear but less syrupy Brandy. More spicy malt. After some time- Clove, mint, roasted chestnuts and soft biscuit.
Taste: Very sweet and sherried. Loads of dried fruit, baked apple and pear, dates, banana and cherry all soaked in loads of sweet Brandy, Sherry and Rum. Lots of cocktail cherries too, mild nuttiness. Some spice developing- ginger but a little rough heat sometimes.
Water: Dried fruit soaked in Brandy replaced by nutty maltiness. A lot more spice, some of it a bit rough, spicy malt, more nuts and chocolate malt.
Finish: Short length. Cocktail cherries and a bit of spiced wood and malt fade pretty quickly.
Sweet and sherried but in a different way to Glendronach or Macallan. I really like this even with the heat and short finish.
Bunnahabhain 18 year old 46.3%
Colour: Dark Amber
Nose: A very rich honeyed sweetness. The oak engagement is there with rich heavy spices. Sherry, Christmas cake, thick sweet sticky honey, sweet vanilla, dark chocolate, a little coffee, treacle and sticky toffee pudding. Raisin, dates, cocktail cherry and sweet Brandy appearing after a bit.
Water: Some stewed tea emerging within the sherry, some spearmint, coming together a bit more now but a little unbalanced still. A little fresh fruit coming out after a bit.
Taste: Thick, rich, heavy and sweet! Thick honey, raisin and dates soaked in sweet Brandy, building oak with some salt then going sherry sweet again into the finish. Quite a lot of tannins, which dry along with the oak. Some rich spices too- Saffron and cinnamon which go into the finish.
Water: Creamier arrival, drying oak into the finish. More cherry.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Sherry sweetness fading with cherry then very drying dark chocolate and coffee (both very good quality).
A little disappointing, I don't think it's as good as the 12yo. Good whisky still.
Thanks for reading!
Newtork Average: 75.4
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just about OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good