This Bunnahabhain is 23 years old, aged in a refill bourbon barrel and bottled at a natural cask strength of 44% ABV. It is the second release in the ‘Rare Casks’ series by Abbey Whisky, following a lovely 17 year old Caperdonich released late last year.
The colour is a light blonde, like sun bleached hay. It has a delicate nose, fruity and slightly briney. Initially there are green apples and unripe pears, then a sweetness comes through, some parma violets and citrusy lemon bon bons. Then, with a little time to savour, an earthy aroma emerges, flower stems and canvas tents. There is also a gentle dark chocolate bitterness and a dusting of peat and smoke.
This is creamy and gentle on the palate. There is a briney foundation on which the other sensations build. First a sweet honey emerges and then an essence of vanilla lingers between wisps of smoke.
The finish continues in a light and unaggressive tone, vanilla fudge, meringue, smoky toasted marshmallow.
For me, this is a grower, the more time spent with it, the more I enjoyed it. For a ‘peated’ Bunnahabhain, it’s not ‘big peat’, it’s a gentle dram, light and unaggressive. It’s the kind of whisky that you could spend a quiet day with, relax and enjoy.
There’s only a limited number of bottles available, so if you want one, be quick!
Available from Abbey Whisky for £79.95
Many thanks to Mike at Abbey Whisky for the sample of this lovely whisky!