Decadent Drinks Bunnahabhain Moine 2006 Islay Sponge Part II & Bunnahabhain 2004 Tokaji Moine Finish Fèis Ìle 2022


A couple of peated Bunnahabhain's up for review today..

Decadent Drinks Bunnahabhain Moine 2006 Islay Sponge Part II

Region: Islay

ABV: 47.4%

Price: £190.00

Our first review today features a peated Bunnahabhain, distilled in 2006. It underwent a 16-year maturation in a bourbon hogshead, culminating in its bottling in 2023. This release yielded only 57 bottles.

Nose

On first nosing, the whisky gives us aromas of pear drops, pepper crackers, green grapes, rock salt, with a backbone of light Islay smoke. Revisiting it reveals additional notes of seaweed, kelp, lemon juice, singed twigs, leather, and s'mores. The ageing process has mellowed the peat, yet the sweeter cask influences harmonise well with the Islay spirit.

Palate

The palate opens with a mixture of pepper spice, Sweetex sweetener, tobacco, orange peel, lemonade, and honey. On the second sip, it delivers a more pronounced wallop of peat than suggested by the nose, enriched with abundant ash and smoked citrus fruits. Despite its age, the whisky retains a surprising level of peatiness. The mouthfeel is slightly thin, yet it finishes well, with the peat and sweetness lingering. It may be somewhat spicier than expected for the ABV, but this doesn't detract from its appeal.

Nose (with water)

With reduction, the nose develops a warehouse funk, accompanied by the notes of raspberries, hessian cloth, and cola cubes. While the majority of the notes present before dilution remain, there is a slight loss in the overall fruitiness of the whisky. The peat continues to be the central component of the dram. The addition of a few drops has opened this up nicely.

Palate (with water)

Upon adding water, the mouthfeel becomes slightly thinner, but this is offset by an increase in sweetness, with notes of sugar paste and grapefruit emerging on the palate. The spice now finds a better balance, and the finish maintains its good length, with both the sweeter notes and the peat enduring.

Conclusion

While it may not be the most complex dram, this Islay whisky is still enjoyable. Its only minor drawback is a mouthfeel that's slightly thin. We’ve heard Bunnahabhain suggest they’re going to stop producing Mòine, and when we try this we can’t help, but feel that would be a shame.

Score: 7.5/10

Value

While not the cheapest whisky in the world it’s unfortunately not bad value for an 16yo peated Islay.


Bunnahabhain 2004 Tokaji Moine Finish Fèis Ìle 2022

Region: Islay

ABV: 52.2%

Price: £225.00 

This exclusive release for Fèis Ìle 2022 was produced using Moine (peated) spirit. Distilled on 2nd February 2004, the whisky underwent over a decade of maturation in refill casks, followed by a finishing period of just over a year in sweet Hungarian Tokaji white wine casks. A total of 1,693 bottles were released.

Nose

The nose is dominated by a note of cream soda, followed by undertones of fresh wood, warehouse must, and passion fruit. Upon revisiting, we notice notes of mushed bananas, whipped cream, lemon Bon Bons and light peat that reminds us of a just lit pipe. The alcohol is well-balanced, and the ABV isn’t apparent while nosing the dram.

Palate

On the palate, the cream soda note is also prominent, accompanied by a generous serving of honey, cinnamon spice, white chocolate mice, and a hint of light smoke. Flavours of orange juice and grapes appear as we revisit it. While there's a slight woodiness, the mouthfeel is pleasing. The finish is of good length, with the ashy peat note persisting beyond the others. Again, it is perhaps just a bit spicier than expected.

Nose (with water)

The addition of water has brought out more warehouse must, alongside notes of rice crackers, yeast, tobacco, toast, and a slight sourness reminiscent of lemon juice. The peat has become more pronounced, moving to the forefront of the dram. This results in a reduction of sweetness, with the cream soda note almost entirely fading away.

Palate (with water)

Upon reduction, the whisky becomes slightly spicier and the mouthfeel is somewhat diminished. However, the finish still maintains a good length, but with an added spice now accompanying the peat, and outlasting the sweetness. While the flavours largely mirror those present before dilution, their intensity has been both amplified and slightly subdued in some cases.

Conclusion

The cask finish adds an extra dimension to the dram, one that we largely appreciate. However, we do find the dram to be a bit too sweet for our tastes. From a purely technical standpoint, though, this is undeniably a good dram.

Score: 7/10

Value

Although it is a good dram, it certainly isn't priced modestly. We tend to be more lenient with independent bottlers due to the high cost of casks. However, our patience wears thinner with distilleries, which should have the capability to offer whisky at significantly lower prices.

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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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