Laura’s Whisky Notes 2017 Tasting #3
Signatory Vintage Bunnahabhain 1989, 26 Yrs Old, Hogshead Cask Matured, ABV 47.7%
Where: My hoose
Glass: My good auld trusty heavy bottomed dram glass
This distillery is the most northerly and remote on the island of Islay and was opened in 1883 to make use of excess grain from local farmers. The name Bunnahabhain translates as ‘mouth of the river’ and if you ever visit will see that the distillery is built near the mouth of the River Margadale which flows into the Sound of Islay.
Pronounced Bú-na-ha-venn, this Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky is quite distinct from the many others on the island, given the wonderfully gentle taste profile for which it is known.
Like many other distilleries Bunnahabhain have changed ancient processes and made them modern but still producing a renowened and distinctive single malt. There are two reasons for this – firstly, it has been created using lightly peated malted barley in a time-honoured distillation process and, secondly, this isolated coastal sanctuary takes advantage of the pure spring water that flows freely from underground away from the peaty moorlands.
Bunnahabhain is one of the main whiskies which is added to Famous Grouse and Black Bottle blends.
Nose: Heather honey with smoked almonds
Taste: Beautifully waxy, like golden syrup on the tongue, with a flavour like the cindering lavender, heather and driftwood. Smoked peach hit at the back.
Finish: Lingering, leaves a ghost of smoke in the mouth with oaky and malty notes. Naturally cask strength at 47.7% abv so plenty of lingering oils.
Nose: Much fruitier, like peaches and cream with a lace of smoke. Round and soft with lovely honey notes.
Taste: A lot more warming. It coats the mouth with a layer of honey like flavour. It has now become a lot like smoked, salted-caramel with a citrusy back drop.
Finish: Much longer, the smoke is awakened by the water…it hangs around lot more, with the honey and malty notes in the back ground.
Nose: Golden syrup and honey at first with vanilla and peaches sneaking through. Very light traces of smoke.
Taste: velvety smooth, vanilla, toasted oak still has the elegant fruit flavour but has now got a slight floral element to it, again like toasted lavender and chamomile. The smoke is just perfectly balanced.
Finish: Medium to Long. It leaves a wee bit of the island on your tongue. Floral, peachy and vanilla flavours hang around with gentle smoke and salty sea air.
Over All Thoughts
Absolutely fabulous! A stunning whisky! I enjoyed drinking it with a slash of water the most but I highly recommend you try it different ways. It is an elegant, syrupy sweet and smoky dram. Having been in hogshead (large 220 litre ex-bourbon barrel) for 26 yrs you truly get all the vanilla, honey and waxy notes that balance out the delicious smoked heather flavour. A truly enjoyable, unforgettable wee drop!
Like the sound of this single malt then grab a bottle here
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