As I’ve stated before, I went to Feather’s to give me buddy a birthday gift that was long overdue. I also went because I wanted to be part of the most recent community review. My buddy ordered the Bunnahabhain 1984 Signatory (17 year) to see what the difference would be, given it’s an independent bottling, 5 years older, and without any added colour. He eventually ate too much pub fare and a pint of Kilkenny, thus it was up to me to finish his dram off, and perhaps fit in a review while I was at it.
It’s a rough job, but someone had to do it.
Nose: White grapes, perfume, candy shop, plum wine, candy cane, light orange
Light nose, which is a huge relief from the 12, which seemed to try and deck me in my sinuses. This was more complex, and while the plum wine is still there, there’s a sweetness to it. It’s almost like a female stripper in some ways, with the candy and the perfume and the wine mixed around, not to mention the smoothness, however that’s where the similarities end, luckily.
Taste: Pear, salt, cloves, persimmon, light smoke, unripened white peaches
This is like the weirdest pie I’ve ever eaten….. okay, maybe the similarities to a stripper didn’t end with the nose now that I’ve said that.
Finish: Light peat, cigar, plum, orange juice, jerky, capers, nectarines
The finish seems to be trying to make up for some of the complexity missing in the taste, and I appreciate it. I’m not a big fan of cigars, however I could see this pairing well with one. Capers and nectarines don’t pair well at all by the way, so that may trip you up, though not as much as you’d expect. It’s quite a short finish, which is too bad. Let’s blame the low Abv. again, shall we? I don’t think I’ve beaten that dead horse enough.
Conclusion: I would order this over the 12 any day. It’s more balanced, it doesn’t sucker punch you (which is how I judge good things in life), and it has some fruit notes that are quite distinct. That being said, the whole thing is very, very light, and while it’s nice to not be hit, there has to be some middle ground between searching out the flavour and being hit in the face with it. Short finishes and light nose/flavour can be quite frustrating to taste. Try it if you can before buying a bottle.
Scotch review #21, Islay review #8, Whisky Network review #28