During the Bunnahabhain 12 community review it was actually the first time I’d ever tried anything from the Distillery. Here’s what I knew:
- It was an Islay
- I liked Islays because they are peaty
- It wasn’t peaty, and they buck trends.
Okay, so I’m a little worried at this point. However I went through with it, and found the dram not really my thing. That didn’t stop me though. I tried an IB (links below to each) and liked it. So the ridiculously hard to spell distillery still was going to get a shot.
I mean, I’ve had 4 different types of Bowmore, I should give them more of a chance to a distillery that didn’t almost make me drag my tongue across the carpet after drinking.
And thus, in a lengthy, wordy flashback, I ordered a dram of Bunnahabhain 18 from master’s of malt. Took some time on my last night in Leicester, and sat back for a review.
Price: $161.95 (CAD)
Nose: Hazelnut, currants, plums, caramel, iodine, lemongrass, sticky toffee pudding, figs, nutmeg, butterscotch
There’s some hints that this is a whisky, though I’m not completely sure. The sherry maturation has really entered into a very sweet smelling dram. Did I mix up some Cognac with Whisky?
Taste: Currant, bitter melon, coconut milk, pepper, molasses, apple, cantaloupe, cherry, raisins
There’s a lot of fruitiness to this. It’s also quite creamy, which is nice.
That said, I’m still pretty sure this is Brandy, not whisky. There’s some hints of typical whisky flavours (currant), though maybe this is going to remind me soon in the finish.
Finish: Grapes, caramel, salt, mushroom, beef, burn, treacle, peat, nutmeg, light coffee
Son of a bitch, near the end it finally reminds me that it’s a whisky, yet this is very rich and full bodied. A little bit of peat reminds you it’s from Islay.
Conclusion: I am pretty sure I could pour this, give it to a brandy fan, tell them it’s brandy, and they’d believe me. And that’s weird. I can’t bash it for the normal reasons (lack of complexity, balance of flavours, flavours not meshing, etc.). I basically had a few moments of “Am I drinking whisky?” It’s good, it’s tasty, it does some thing differently, and at the end of the day, there’s more for others, as I don’t think I’ll be buying a bottle. My score is based on the the fact that it’s well made, and not based on if I’m buying another bottle soon.
Scotch review #105, Islay #31, Whisky Network review #135