Todays review is a pair of Bunnahabhains. including our first whisky from Independent bottler, Lady of the Glen.
Bunnahabhain Lady of the Glen 11yo Cask #554983
This unpeated Bunnah was matured for 11 years in a first fill oloroso sherry butt. The outturn had a release of 213 bottles.
Nose opens with of treacle drizzled over a sticky toffee pudding. There’s also some clove oil and an aroma that reminds us of walking through a forest. We’re also getting a nuttiness, alongside some salty bodega funk. The sherry is in the background and comes across as a meatiness like beef with mushrooms. There’s lots going on here not all of it to our tastes.
Palate has Mexican molé sauce, some sweet milky cocoa, and all of the spices of a Christmas cake minus the sugar. There’s an umami savouriness that underlies the palate, an oily, pepperiness and a touch of orange juice at the end of the finish.
Nose (with water)
The sherry in the background is still there, but now we’re getting dry aged ribeye steak, and earth. This is now less syrupy sweet and instead there’s burnt cake and salted caramel.
Palate (with water)
Reduced palate has beef monster munch and sherry soaked staves dried in the Spanish sun. This is now more salty and savoury, the pepperiness has gone and the alcohol is now better integrated. It's still got a warming medium length finish.
There’s so much going on with this whisky with it evolving the longer you leave it in the glass. There’s great meatiness, saltiness and savouriness here for those who want it, but we can’t ignore the price tag. Given the price we’d have a dram, but pass on the full bottle.
Bunnahabhain 2008 Mòine French Oak Feis Ile 2019
This release was distilled in 2008 and initially matured in refill casks, before being finished in French oak hogsheads for five months. 1872 bottles were released.
There’s an initial hit of sour mash with a light smoke, freshly baked crumpets with warm butter, and some vanilla with a bit of ash in the background. There's almost a fizzy-ness and grapefruit like zestiness on the nose. A touch of white pepper, nutmeg and fresh mint is also present.
There’s a white pepper spice that dances on your tongue along with the sourness of lime juice and coriander. Actually there's some lemongrass here too - it's got a little Thai influence going on. It's not super savoury but there's a little salted caramel, alongside clean bonfire smoke. There's also a fruitiness that reminds us of blackcurrants and overripe grapes. The finish is medium length flavour-wise, but the spice and smoke lingers on for quite a while.
Nose (with water)
Tons more vanilla coming out in the form of freshly cooked custard and warm pastries drizzled in a sweet, sticky glaze. The smoke has calmed down a lot from pre-dilution, but is still sticking around in the background. There's a little bit of tangerine peaking through too.
Palate (with water)
Much more restrained alcohol than before, the spice has mellowed significantly and more of the creamy, custardy, sweet vanilla flavours are coming through. There's a touch of cinnamon and caramel here too, alongside the ever present (yet slightly less punchy) peatsmoke.
It's an interesting dram, a fair bit going on but still identifies quite young without too much depth behind it. To us it's much more pleasant with some water and some air, as those rougher flavours start to mellow into a more enjoyable dram. If you're into fruity, smoky drams without overbearing sweetness then this is perfect, but it's a touch too sour for us and we'd like a bit more depth of flavour.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
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