I said at the end of last year that this year I’d finally pay some proper attention to Bunnahabhain. Well, Springbank got in the way.
Here’s a couple, there’s a backlog coming though
Refill hogshead, cask 10348, 129 bottles. Some of these Directors Cut bottles are simply sublime.
Nose - Everything you know you want from an old Bunnahabhain, and the reason why I find them some entrancing…deeply sweet and waxy, fresh orange juice with bits in, and old, old wood. Not overwooded at all though, just ripe and perfect - pineapple cubes, mango, crayons and orange blossom. It's beautiful.
Body - Gaah… deeply wonderful. Challenging but luxurious. Orange zest and oak, white flowers and gooseberry. I'm a bit speechless...
Finish - Medium but so oily, mouthfilling wax and fruit. Big tannins at the end… and almost throat blockingly waxed - epic stuff.
What's not good about it - you probably couldn't drink an awful lot of this in one sitting.
What's good about it - Extraordinarily sexy. A beautiful old nose, tropical fruit and wax throughout, intense oils and perfect balance.
Not sure you can follow that, but here goes.
Bunnahabhain Rubha a' Mhail was distilled in 2004 and aged in Spanish Manzanilla sherry butts, #550 & #554. Aged for 11 years and bottled for the Feis Ile 2015, Rubha a' Mhail (pronounced rooaval) is named after a modern day Helmsman's tale.
Body - Rich, sweet and very full bodied, balanced and intense. Red berries, red wine and tannins all the way.
Finish - Spicy and very sweet, lots of wine - sherry and red wine casks I would have guessed, but Manzanilla it is. A long, intense finish.
What's not good about it - Spikes of immaturity throughout - tasted blind I might have said this is the kind of unbalanced delivery you might get from a single cask.
What's good about it - But that's mitigated by a lot of enjoyment at the many things it does get right - intense and delicious throughout, with great, balanced peat character, lots of red fruit and tannic like a good red wine.
There’s more coming.