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Friday, 15 August 2008

Bunna: Have Some


Bunnahabhain. Not a distillery that we have reviewed much. In fact, only once since we have been going has it popped into our view- and that was for their excellent, but over priced Feis Ile 2008 bottling. It’s an interesting distillery simply because it really does not conform to the classic Islay style of heavily peating the spirit. Here we tried 2 sister bottlings from the same independent bottler, Single Malts of Scotland. One just a year older than the other, but both from the classic vintage, 1979 (guess when this reviewer was born...!).


Bunnahabhain – Single Malts Of Scotland – 27 Years Old – Distilled: 31.10.79 / Bottled: 02.03.07 – cask no. 11488 – 234 bottles – 46% Vol – 70cl

N- Wine overtones- like a light and crisp Chardonnay. Estery notes, with fresh pear and fruity/creamy notes like rhubarb and custard boiled sweets. The fruit subsides and then liquorice and under-ripe, green apple comes through with a faint hint of hazel nut.

P: The first hit is a blast of cinnamon and clove, then a real creaminess. It’s really reminiscent of home made apple pie and custard. Sweet, sharp, spicy but smothered in a wonderful vanilla'y creaminess.

F; More green apples and freshness. A hint of baked cooking apples sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon at the end. More length than you'd have expected here.

O: In keeping with our 'seasonal drams' debate, this could be compared to the very first shoots of spring- it's very light weight as bunna's usually are, but less floral and without the sherry influence, which is a refreshing change for me.


Bunnahabhain – Single Malts Of Scotland – 28 Years Old – Distilled: 31.10.79 / Bottled: 22.04.08 – cask no. 18831 – 234 bottles – 46% Vol – 70cl

N: Again more of that Chardonnay with further grassy and estery notes. A little touch of rosehip and then drying woody spices, cedar perhaps?

P: Slightly sweeter than last years mixed with more of that fresh green fruit, cloves and oak, which is definitely more noticeable than before.

F: Again, a great length for a light dram. Liquorice, hints of spice and bean sprouts.

O: We left this out to air a little and it certainly opened up, with more comparisons to its older sister.

It seemed that the 28 YO needed a little more time in the glass to settle, and once it did it really came to life. We both chose the 27 YO as our pick of the two. Not a great deal in it, especially once the 28 YO had sat in the glass and opened up. Both cracking little gems.