The first Bunnahabhain I had was the 12 year old. I had heard good things. There was a community review. Why not, right?
I was let down. And it bugged me, as others enjoyed it quite a bit.
Since then, I’ve had more and more Bunnahabhain, and I’ll say this: Don’t judge it based on the 12. If anything, it set the bar low for me to enjoy many others from the distillery.
Take, for instance, Bunnahabhain SMWS 10.104 “Wild and untamed”, which is a peated variety. I’ve enjoyed (and swapped for) many older Bunnahabhains, however I don’t ignore the young’ins. Because as we learned from Anakin Skywalker, you have to take them out too.
So let’s see how this more peated, younger offering does, shall we?
Price: $127.99 CAD
Date Distilled: December 2007
Age: 8 years
Cask Type: Refill hogshead
Colour: 7.5Y 9/4
Nose: Peanut butter, ash, almond paste, lemon pulp
Nutty and ash. It’s an odd mixture, if I’m being honest. I set it back down, and give it more time. Then I try again. Nope, wasn’t hallucinating. Dammit, thought someone had drugged me. Jerks, leaving drugs out of my drinks.
Nutty. Creamy. Can throw you off. Some sharp acidity on this one. It’s young.
Taste: Marshmallow, smoke, almond paste, cinnamon
If I was having this blind I would think I had been played a fool again. It’s sweet. Very sweet. Lots of spice and smoke. Young, brash. Could turn off some people with the amount of sweets on the taste.
Water brings out the cinnamon. So what I’m saying is: Add water.
Finish: Smoke, brown sugar, salt, brown butter
The finish is an odd one. It’s almost as if someone smoked a caramel. Had a blunt and a blitz at the end of dinner, if you will.
The first time I’ve picked up salt here. The nuttiness is still there, however closer to a caramel butter note now.
Conclusion: It’s a young, brash Bunnahabhain. Certainly shows off a different side. Reminds me of the OB 12 year, however with an insane side that only single casks show up.
This gets points for uniqueness, however I can’t see drinking it all the time. It’d normally get a lower score, however the finish saves it. The taste can be too sweet, the nose is overly nutty, and all in all it can overwhelm you.
Glad we left this one to end. I would recommend trying this before you buy. It’s going to fit into a niche more than anything else.
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