Tuesday 25 June 2019

Bunnahabhain 1990 North Star, 1988 Wemyss & Port Askaig 28 Reviews

Hi everyone,

We’ve got some whisky from my least favourite Islay distillery today! Yes, of course its Bunna. To be fair, having tasted these now, I’m pretty sure my problem is mainly with the younger stuff and some of the older stuff, because, as these demonstrate, Bunna does age pretty well over a long time.

Bunnahabhain 1990 North Star 51.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Great combo of salinity and fresh zippy fruit, lemon citrus, some vanilla, sea salt, quite coastal and a hint of far off smoke, something slightly funky adding complexity, some tropical white grapefruit.
Taste: Amazing mouthfeel strikes first, salty and oily, still fresh, lemon citrus, red apple, black pepper, almost Talisker-like actually and great for it.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Lovely oily chocolate and sea salt, malt, some late smoke here too.
Bottled 2017 at 26yo. Really drinkable and delicious Bunna. There seems to be a bit more smoke and coastality to this and it's right up my street. One of my favourite Bunna’s I’ve ever had.
Port Askaig 28 45.8%
Colour: Straw
Body: Medium
Nose: Musky Bunna-like nose, leather and old dusty cupboards, heavy malt, actually reminds me of a Glen Scotia, dark chocolate and very lightly smoky oak
Taste: Lacking power to start, Soft and v chocolatey, honey, big malt and then lots of oak, soft black pepper, dry.
Finish: Long length. Burnt marshmallow, burnt vanilla, a little oak.
A newer one I have a feeling. Went cloudy very quickly. Bit over the hill in my opinion and the marshmallow at the end is a bit odd to find in this type of whisky. This isn’t cheap either at £300.
Bunnahabhain 1988 'Luxury Damson Jam' 46%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Jam indeed! Homemade blueberry and raspberry jam, plus some tired wood, black pepper, orange and red apple, a tiny faded sea salt, floral geranium (reminding me of Bourbon matured Mortlach).
Taste: Sweet, Sherry, raisin and orange, a little flat though with more of the tired wood than the nose, spices with ginger and black pepper, nice red apple note. Shame about the mid-palate.
Finish: Long length. Super chocolatey and malty, lovely dark finish. Leather and tobacco, honey too.
Bottled 2018. Really saved by the finish this, not up to the 1987 I tried. But there seem to be a few of these Wemyss are doing at the moment.

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Reviews #767-#769
Whisky Network Reviews #912-#914

Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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