Bunnahabhain 1997 Signatory Vintage

SB1997 1

Still catching up on swaps. Special thanks to /u/jimvarney01 for the swap, and the picture (it’s the Islay, the one you care about…. on the left…. not it’s left, your left).

Anyway, today we’ll be going through Signatory Bunnahabhain 1997.

I don’t really have the greatest relationship when it comes to Bunnahabhain. First off, showing my North American side, I can’t really pronounce it. At all. I’ve tried. I’ve watch and read how to. Unfortunately I suck at it. A lot.

Up next, I get it mixed up with Bruichladdich, which I also can’t spell or pronounce, but like better.

And to tell you the truth… I haven’t really raved about these either. I may have called the distillery my second not most liked on Islay. Which is kinda rough, seeing the other is Bowmore, and I’m a sheep.

Let’s ignore all of that for now. Every dram has a chance to shine, and every dram from every distillery or IB has a chance to be different. If I apply that to people, I can at least apply it to drams as well.

Wait, maybe that’s backward…. let’s get on to the review, shall we?

This is a Heavily Peated, Cask Strength offering, hand picked by Binny’s. Natural colour.

SB1997 2

Price: N/A In Ontario

Region: Islay

Aged: 13 years

Distilled: 11.12.1997 (the same day that a Judge ordered Microsoft not to bundle IE4 with Windows)

Bottled: 05.07.2011 (Right in the middle of the Arabian Spring)

Matured in: Hogshead

Cask No: 5588

Bottle No: 94 of 272

Abv: 53.9%

Colour: Straw

Nose: Peat, sweet corn, lemon, cheesecake, chocolate covered bacon, rubber, orange

Sweeter peat than I’m used to. Not that strong, blast of hot peat, more like burning a donut sweet. Eventually opens up into more desserts.

Also, Smoked Cheesecake is amazing. Try it sometime when you have the chance.

Taste: Peat, earthy, cayenne, orange peel, tobacco, cinnamon

As people who read what I’ve written before, you know I’m biased against tobacco. I don’t really like it.

That said, in this case, it fits very well. There’s an acidic note, mixed with just some spice and some peat, that makes the tobacco shine.

That’s right kids, smoke only if you’ve eaten an orange, and some spiced mushrooms. Otherwise don’t, the taste will be off. And don’t buy cheap ciggies either.

Lucky for the world that I’m childfree, eh?

Finish: Cocoa, orange, rich caramel, smoke, Mexican hot chocolate, evergreen

Have you had a Mexican Hot Chocolate? If not, you’re missing out. This has the same finish, with some pine and evergreen. Not overly complex, though really right and tasty.

Conclusion: This is a very well put together dram. It’s balanced, the flavours are complimentary, and the finish tastes like happiness. If it set off memories, or hit that higher level of complexity, I’d rate it higher. For now, I’d say it’s just as good as it’s other Islay brothers, has a good complexity, and generally is worth trying.


Scotch review #186, Islay review #41, Whisky Network review #257

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