I don’t often do blind tastings in order to put out as a review but a friend sent me a sample of something to try and then review before I could get to know what it was I was trying, his response was ” he wanted to see if I was full of **** ” so I had to take up the challenge.. Most of the information was given to me after the tasting but for obvious reasons I will write the review as normal.
This is a Bunnahabhain 1988, 22yo and is from a sherry butt, I don’t know if it is first fill or refill but my guess is first fill, the abv is 52.7%abv, all this info was given after my notes were written.
These were my notes as written.
First impression is obviously sherry cask, it is extremely dark so possibly first fill, can’t be too young, too much colour unless it’s overcooked with caramel. The legs are extremely slow and thick, so I’m guessing a good abv, the aromas are already hitting me and this is still just sitting waiting for me to pick it up.. Well here goes.
Nose… Yep it is definitely a sherry cask, some big notes of dried fruits, candied oranges, liquorice, cinnamon and dark coffee. There is also something lurking in the background, not exactly sure what.. Some sweetness comes in, vanilla and honey, burnt sugar and toasted almonds.
Palate… This has balls … Yep it is definitely not a young whisky, it just explodes in the mouth, instantly throwing dried fruits and dark flavours into every inch of your mouth, my senses are going wild, it has quite an oily feel to it, a lot of wood but in a great way and bitter chocolate, roasted almonds and thick molasses. Quite spicy after a while, cinnamon and ginger come through with a more subtle hint of nutmeg.
Finish.. Quite a spicy, oaky finish that is o so long..
Thoughts.. What the hell is it.. Whatever it is it is ruddy good.. Won’t put what I actually wrote.. But you get the picture.. It is a big sherried whisky but where from.. I’m pretty sure it isn’t Glenfarclas, it is just not that style.. There are quite a few layers to this, lots of complexity. It is too heavy to be lowland, pretty sure it is not speyside, there is no smoke or peat but that don’t rule out Islay. It’s not Highland park, just does not sit in that stable either.. Could it be an old Bruichladdich or Bunna, maybe it is a speyside, something like an old Glendronach.. It is a heavy malt and I’m so going towards Islay but I’m not used to many that don’t have peat.. The only thing I can compare it to is an old BBR Bunnahabhain 1979.. But I give up..
So this is where I was told it was a Bunna from 1988, it is 22yo and from a sherry butt.. This was bottled by the creative whisky company.. I assume it is long gone but it was very good..