Bunnahabhain 16 Old Particular

Bunnahabhain 16 OP.jpg

So I showed up with this. And it was the worst of the night.

Thank fuck I brought homemade cookies or I’d be out. And vegan gluten free banana bread (it really did taste better than that statement makes it sound, I swear).

I have a soft spot for IB Bunnahabhain. Personally have enjoyed them more than the OB ones. Most of them. Not all. So when I was in Quebec a year ago, and choosing among all the different whiskies that were actually sold by a company that gives a damn about alcohol.

Though I’m not bitter.

And in seeing Bunnahabhain 16 Old Particular, I saw a company I like (Laing) selling a dram I most likely will enjoy (Bunnahabhain).

This is the standard ‘lightly peated’ Bunnahabhain juice that’s been aged in ex-bourbon hogshead. Single cask, decent amount of time, and seeing from the alcohol content, had some hungry angels.

This was the second lowest alcohol content of the night. Let’s see how it tasted, shall we?

Price: Never made it to the LCBO

Region: Islay

Outturn: 339

Cask Type: Refill Hogshead

Reference: DL10433

Distilled: April 1998

Bottled: August 2014

Abv: 48.4%

Colour: 7.5Y 9/4

Nose: Pear, mango, lemon sorbet, cashew, peach

Lighter nose. This is lacking the typical sherry cask influence I associate with a lot of Bunnahabhain. There’s some lighter fruit though. So if you’re looking for fruit and don’t want to hit the Southern Hemisphere or a really good dance club, it’s here.

Even confused myself on that one.

Taste: Cumin, toffee, cashew, brine, mango, lemoncello

More citrus. Melds well with the alcohol. Lots of earth and fruit here. I’m not loving the mix, but I like the flavours individually. Maybe it’s okay? Hard to say.

Finish: Smoke, grass, sour raspberry/lemon, peanut

Finishes with more smoke and a lot of amped up notes than last time. Almost bad, but not quite. Like the nice earth notes that tasted like food now taste like grass. And the nuttiness is there, but more salty.

And the nice, lemon flavour has gone a little… bitter? No, more acidic, for fear of gaining yet another painful nickname.

Conclusion: This isn’t a bad dram, it just had the unfortunate issue that it ended up being opened on the same night as some heavy hitters. And I use heavy there like people use heavy to describe the blue whale.

This is smooth, easy drinking, not overly complex but not boring either. It’s nutty and fruity. It’s by far not the best Bunnahabhain I’ve had, but it’s definitely an upgrade over the standard 12. The taste was my favourite part, and overall there’s a lemon vein running through this one.

Wait, does lemon vein mean something dirty?


Scotch review #523, Islay review #117, Whisky Network review #875

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