Bunnahabhain Fèis Ìle 2024 14yo Ruby Port Finish


We're continuing our reviews of 2024 festival releases with one of the new Fèis Ìle bottlings from Bunnahabhain.

Bunnahabhain Fèis Ìle 2024 14yo Ruby Port Finish

Region: Islay

ABV: 58.7%

Price: £120.00

58.7% Released to celebrate Fèis Ìle 2024, this 14-year-old limited edition was initially matured in Bourbon casks for 11 years before being transferred to Ruby Port Hogsheads for a final 3-year finish.

Nose

The nose offers an array of aromas including red berries, caramel, red cola, wood shavings, pomegranate, cranberries, and raspberry jam. Letting it sit in the glass for a bit and we start to notice salted peanuts, white bread, and synthetic sugar. The port casks are overshadowing the bourbon casks, but we’re not complaining. Given this is 58.7% we’re impressed that the alcohol is not overly noticeable.

Palate

The dram opens with a strong hit of spice, notably cinnamon, as that fades we start to detect notes of honey, leather, tobacco, raspberry jam, dried wood, cherry cola, and chocolate coins on the mid palate. The mouthfeel is pleasantly syrupy. The finish is a decent length and, although slightly spicy, there is sufficient sweetness lingering to balance the spice, creating something a little one dimensional but tasty.

Nose (with water)

Adding water doesn’t change nose too much from the undiluted version, but adding water has brought out a pleasant nuttiness, most noticeable in the form of almonds, and caramelised pecans. There’s also a hint of red apples, with the of cranberry and pomegranate notes also become more pronounced.

Palate (with water)

With water the mouthfeel is relatively unchanged, but the spice is now in better balance. Most of the notes present before dilution are retained. The dram is now sweeter, with a noticeable honey note dominating. The finish has also retained its length with more sweetness lingering. One where we’d definitely suggest a touch of water.

Conclusion

The port dominates the spirit on this one, and we’re not convinced we’d have guessed this was a Bunnahabhain if trying blind. We’re a little torn on the score for this one. While it’s definitely good whisky, it’s maybe just a touch one dimensional. That said, the one dimensional that it has is pretty tasty. We’ll go with a 7.5.

Score: 7.5/10

Value

Like most Fèis Ìle releases, this one unfortunately doesn't offer particularly good value.

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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