Thanks to /u/devoz for the sample of this.
It’s hard to not just go along with the crowd. It’s also hard to not just go against the crowd. If all your friends were to jump off a bridge, then you’d want more information before deciding if you want to do it or not. How deep is the water? Is there water? What are the risks? How good are you at diving? Is anyone supervising? Where is the closest place that you could get medical attention?
I keep all of this in mind when I stand on the metaphorical bridge that is our latest whisky, Bunnahabhain 14 Pedro Ximénez Finish. I’ve heard mixed things about it. It also doesn’t help that this Scotch was released at the same time as a similar Bunnahabhain release that was much praised. Bridges aplenty it would seem.
So what’s the deal with Bunnahabhain 14 Pedro Ximénez Finish? Well, this is a non-peated release (well, there’s a light amount of peat, but it’s not heavily peated is what I’m saying) that are initially aged in second-fill Sherry casks, and then given a decent finish in first fill Pedro Ximénez casks.
I’ve had some other multi-sherry whiskies recently. All of them independently bottled. And personally, I think it’s a fun process, if not possibly something that can happen all the time. Sherry casks we’ve been told are hard to find, right? Who knows, maybe they found a new source of them. Like a pipeline or something.
So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: $174 CAD at the LCBO
Distillation Date: 24 March 2003
Bottling Date: 27 June 2017
Casks Used: Initiatilled second-fill Sherry casks until 2011, then moved into first-fill Pedro Ximénez casks
Colour: 7.5YR 5/8
Nose: Red liquorice, grape drink, red apple, nutmeg, peach syrup
Very sweet. Very sherry dominant. That said they’ve learned from some over sherry aspects of the 12 year here and there’s minor aspects that remind us it’s still a whisky. Mostly that comes out with water though, so if you skip that, it’s just sherry.
Taste: Plum, nutmeg, cinnamon, cereal/spice, raisin, peaches
Nice spice aspect. This has more earth than I’m used to from sherry bombs. It’s balancing out the sherry bomb aspect quite a lot.
The bridge so far seems like fun, though I’m not 100% if I want to jump yet. That said, I am a sucker for oatmeal raisin cookies with spice in them. Wait, should I admit that? I may be judged harshly on that one.
Finish: Raspberry, leather, orange, raisin, cumin, lemon-lime soda
Nice leather at the finish. Actually, I think that’s what the taste and nose were really missing. That higher quality level from better sherry casks is evident here. Also, there’s more and more well-developed earth.
Conclusion: Earth sherry bomb, which is impressive. This really hits the sherry aspects hard. I know, “No shit” should be the next line, however, in previous incarnations of double sherried drams, there was a bit more going on.
Sherry bombs by itself isn’t a bad thing. Too much sherry can get a bit repetitive. The nose almost hits that point. The taste is pure spice and earth to balance it out. And the finish has that amazing leather aspect.
Is there more than that? No. It’s an earthen sherry bomb. Lot and lots of flavours going on. Nothing too out there. If you’re a sucker for big sherry drams, you may love this. If you’re looking for much more? Hard to say.
Scotch review #939, Islay reviews #255, Whisky Network review #1492