Thanks to /u/Theslicknick6 for this sample.
Welcome to my new ongoing series, “Bunna-have you any more sir?”, in which I go through my backlog of way, WAY too many Bunnahabhains and review them.
Alright, alright. So far, we’ve seen older Bunnahabhain that were okay. And we’ve basically hit the comments that we started with: Buying Bunnahabhain means you’re buying a consistent “okay” whisky, which isn’t a bad thing.
That said, we’ve barely scraped the different ways one can go with whisky. Heck, by the end of this series, while I think I did a pretty good job getting a bunch of them, however you, the fun wacky readers, will have combinations that I didn’t even get a chance to obtain yet.
For instance: What if we took an older Bunnahabhain, and then finished it in an octave cask? I mean, Duncan Taylor does it, Master of Malt does it, Laphroaig kinda does it, and soon, A.R. Rattray does it as well. I should have covered it, right?
Well you doubting vagina muffins (sorry, heard this one gets past the automoderators on Twitch chat, found it funny in it’s nonsensical way and wanted to use it once), let me tell you this: I did think of it! Bunnahabhain 24 1987 Duncan Taylor The Octave is part of the such a group where they lay down the whisky as a finish in an Octave cask (1/8th the size of a normal cask) that once held sherry.
Not to mention it’s an older dram, so let’s see how this went, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Distillation Date: 1987
Bottling Date: 2012
Cask Number: 383579
Colour: 5Y 7/8
Nose: Brown sugar, plum, baklava, passionfruit chutney, dried apricots
Alright, some more rich, Xmas flavours right off the bat. And then throughout. It takes the ball and runs with it all the way home.
Lots of rich dried fruits, honey, and lovely butter. Love the nose on this. The sherry is quite strong (what a surprise).
Taste: Peach syrup, brown sugar, cereal, white cake, peanut
Less rich sherry notes now, and it’s coming off as the finish that it is.
Wait, saying that like that sounds like I hate finishes. Or the Finnish people. And neither of those things are correct. Don’t read it like that.
More so there’s a lot of the ex-bourbon cask influence. It’s really sweet in the end. Very sweet.
Finish: Honey, white raspberry, honeydew melon, sand, cereal, ginger
More sweets! Even more! You know what this light honey based dram needed? MORE SWEETS! LET’S DUNK IT IN SHERRY!
Conclusion: Okay, maybe I went overboard there.
Alright there’s some nice complex notes throughout. It’s not a simple dram at all in that sense. You have a mixture of heat, dry, and sweet notes that combine. No one will be angry at that aspect.
However… I mean, if it’s this sweet now, how sweet was it before it went in the octave? This is so sweet! Were they hoping it would go acidic to balance it out? Or did they just think about if they could, and not if they should?
I’m docking points for this being too sweet. Honestly if you’re looking for a complex dram like this, you’ll probably add them back and then some. Just ain’t my jam (as I only put a cup of sugar in my jam).
Scotch review #877, Islay review #220, Whisky Network review #1398