Saturday, 12 March 2016

A couple of Bunnas

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

Bunnahabhain 1978, Douglas Lang Directors Cut, 35 yo, 45.2% A⊕⊕

Refill hogshead, cask 10348, 129 bottles.  Some of these Directors Cut bottles are simply sublime.

bunnahabhain-35-year-old-1978-cask-10348-directors-cut-douglas-laing-whiskyNose - 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, Feis Ile 2015 - Rubha A’ Mhail, 11 years old, 57.4%, A⊕

1200 bottles.


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.

bunnahabhain-11-year-old-rubha-a-mhail-feis-ile-2015-whisky-webNose - Sharp peat and cereal, and some big young notes - dank, almost. But absolutely balanced and correct. Deeper, burnt cereal with time, and a lovely winey note backing it. Good stuff.

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.


  1. This Bunna or the XOP Glen Grant now whisky of the year?