Bunnahabhain 17yo, 1997-2014, Old Particular
ABV: 48.4%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Douglas Laing
Cask type: Refill Hogshead (# DL10584, 306 btl.)

 

Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Surprisingly oily and smoky start on the nose with a malty backbone. Subtle fruitiness arrives with apricots, lemons and a touch of passion fruit. Soapy, waxy with some floral notes and a whiff of leather in the back.
Palate: Sweet on the palate with delicate apricots, peaches and lemons, followed by mellow notes of caramel. Nicely warming with a pleasant spiciness of pepper, oak and a hint of peat. Subtle bitter notes of pink grapefruit and bonfire ashes towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is medium long, warm and slightly sweet with acacia honey, caramel and a touch of pear drops. Becomes dry on the tail with oak, pepper and a whiff of sea salt.
With water: Fresh on the nose with more yellow fruit's coming through when water is added. Floral with hints of bonfire smoke in the background. Fruity and creamy on the palate with apricots, lychee and lemons, followed by hints of oak, pepper and malted barley. Creamy with a significantly tamed spiciness. The finish is medium long, creamy and slightly warm with a tamed spiciness and dryness.
Comments: This nice 17 years old bottling is a rather unusual profile for a Bunnahabhain. Fruity and floral, with a soapy, smoky and spicy edge. Very interesting though. Quite a savoury alternative to the (heavily) sherried treats from this Islay distillery. The perfect companion to a cheese and fruit plate.

 

I thank Douglas Laing for the sample and the photograph!


Bunnahabhain 10yo, Sgeul Na Mara, 2003-2013, Feis Ile 2013 Bottling
ABV: 60.1%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Sherry Butt (#79, 606 btl.)

 

Colour: Amber.
Nose: Lovely sweet start on the nose with sherry, dates and raisins, followed by dark fruits and a bit of toffee. Fresh with sea air, some oak, hints of damped wood and leathery notes. A touch of cinnamon, pepper and salted nuts in the back.
Palate: Bold and rich on the palate. Big and mouth coating with sherry sweetness, Christmas cake, caramel and dried dark fruits, accompanied by an intense warming spiciness of oak, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a whiff of cardamom. Becomes slightly astringent towards the finish with subtle bitter walnuts and tannins.
Finish: The finish is long, creamy sweet, dry and pleasantly warming with toffee, spiced oak, bitter dark chocolate, damped wood and a touch of salt.
With water: Stays sweet on the nose by adding a splash of water while more sea air is coming to the fore. Fresh and fruity. Sweet and creamy on the palate where the bold spiciness is significantly tamed. Damped wood and leathery notes are nicely mixed with delicate malted barley. The finish is a bit shorter, creamy sweet with caramel and a lingering nuttiness on the tail.
Comments: A big sherried Islay whisky. The nose and the palate deliver delicate, intense and multi-layered flavours. Nice interplay of sherry sweetness, dark fruitiness, warming spiciness, fresh sea air and lingering saltiness. Quite enjoyable neat despite the high alcohol content. The perfect companion to a sea salt dark chocolate bar.

 

I thank Björn Lahmann from Whiskyplaza for the sample!


Bunnahabhain 9yo, Moine Heavily Peated, 2007-2016, The Un-Chillfiltered Collection
ABV: 46%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Signatory Vintage (Special 2016 German Whiskyfair Edition)
Cask type: Hogshead (#131, 359 btl.)

 

Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Clean and fresh on the nose with the peat being quite up front. Notes of cereals with a delicate fruitiness of lemons and green apples behind. Peppery with a scent of brine and seaweed in the back.
Palate: Surprisingly sweet on the palate. Barley sugar nicely mingles with delicate citric fruits, mainly lemons, and green apples, complemented by an intense and warming spiciness of cracked black pepper, chilli, nutmeg and oak. Crisp peat mixed with sea air and seaweed towards the finish.
Finish: A delightful long finish. Initially sweet and very warm with barley sugar and drying notes of peat. Oak and seaweed on the tail.
With water: Water tames a bit of the barley sweetness and peatiness, bringing more citric fruits to the fore. Less sweet and fruity on the palate. The spiciness, however, is significantly increased with oak, nutmeg. pepper, and allspice. The finish is shortened and less warm but very dry with oak and peat.
Comments: This is an appetising islander. Very pleasant, intensive and savoury. One on the sweet side. Would be quite a good match for seafood. A well balanced whisky to be enjoyed neat. Certainly one for the outdoors.

 

I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph!


Bunnahabhain 11yo, Rubha A' Mhail, 2004-2015, Feis Ile 2015 Bottling
ABV: 57.4%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Manzanilla Casks (#550 and #554, 1200 btl.)

 

Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: Sweet start on the nose with sherry, plums and raisins, followed by dark berries, cherries and caramel. Smooth and slightly spicy with cinnamon, oak and a delicate nuttiness (walnuts) in the back, nicely wrapped in fresh sea air and a whiff of earthy tones.
Palate: Bold on the palate. A mouth watering start with dry sherry and oak, slightly astringent. Then the sweetness arrives with dark cherries, plums and dark grapes. This is complemented by a delicate spiciness of oak, pepper and nutmeg. Becomes slightly bitter and dry towards the finish with walnuts, grape peel and tannins.
Finish: The finish is long, pleasantly warming with lingering (bitter) walnuts, spiced oak and espresso. Becomes very dry on the tail accompanied by earthy notes.
With water: There's more dark fruits on the nose with a few drops of water. Sweet sherry flavours nicely mixed with earthy tones, damp moss and leather. Strong but significantly tamed on the palate with a slightly sweetness and gently warming spiciness. Walnut and hazelnut flavours are dominating towards the finish. The finish is still long, warm and dry with walnuts, mocha and spiced oak.
Comments: Indeed a very intriguing dram. Well controlled, with an inviting nose and a delightful taste. A good solid whisky with layers of complexity and not overpowered by the sherry casks. Big, spicy and then a lingering savouriness. Rich and mellow and no need for water. A serious autumnal dram.


Bunnahabhain 9yo, 2005-2015, The Un-Chillfiltered Collection
ABV: 46%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Signatory Vintage (Specially selected for German Single Malt Whisky Fans 2015 #1)
Cask type: 1st Fill Sherry Butt (#578, 815 btl.)

 

Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: Very fruity and aromatic on the nose with dry sherry notes, lovely mixed with a melange of cherries, sultanas, raisins and madeira cake. Lingering notes of plums and Demerara sugar emerge followed by slightly spiced oak, walnut flavours and a whiff of smoke in the back. Inebriant, gorgeous nose!
Palate: Starts significantly dry on the palate with intense aromas of sherry, cherries, prunes and baked red apples. This is followed by a pleasant warmth of white pepper, nutmeg and oak. Slightly bitter notes of dark chocolate emerge, complemented by sea salt and tender maritime notes towards the finish. Very well integrated and balanced. Light grip.
Finish: The finish is medium long and deliciously fruity and dry. Creamy, warm ginger spice, cinnamon and oak on the tongue with sticky plum jam and a whiff of smoky bitterness on the tail.
With water: Water tames a bit of the fruitiness and sweetness on the nose, bringing more spices, oak, and smoke to the fore. Significantly salty on the palate with bitter fruit, orange peel, subtle spiced oak, pepper, and cinnamon. The finish is medium long, subtle sweet and drying with more oak, sea salt and smoke on the tail.
Comments: This is a very nice sherried and unpeated malt. The salty and maritime influence of this young Bunnahabhain is obvious and fits perfectly with the layered fruitiness and balanced oak spice. A good solid whisky with layers of complexity. Dangerously quaffable!


Bunnahabhain 11yo, 2004-2016, Single Cask Seasons, Spring 2016
ABV: 49.7%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Signatory Vintage (selected by Kirsch Whisky Import)
Cask type: First Fill Sherry Butt (#800195, 674 btl.)

 

Colour: Bright amber.
Nose: A lot is going on here. Sweet and sherried maritime nose. Lots of marzipan, lovey mixed with fruits - strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, yellow apples and plums. Delicate notes of custard, honey and caramel arrive, nicely lingering with subtle raisins, sea air, a hint of cinnamon and a whiff of damped wood in the back. Improves with time to become a great nose!
Palate: Oh boy, that's bold and intense. Sweet arrival of luscious fruits - strawberry, apples and yellow plums in particular, immediately followed by a strong warmth of alcohol (not pungent at all!), white pepper, nutmeg, crystallized ginger and cinnamon spice. Creamy, sweet and nicely complex. Hints of leather and subtle earthy notes shine through with a sweet and delicate load of sticky toffee and fine nutty flavours. Delicious!
Finish: The finish is long, warm and lovely creamy with sweet sticky toffee notes, fine marzipan and walnuts. Dark chocolate and spiced oak end in a slightly dry end with a tender brackish edge.
With water: Water enhances the fruitiness on the nose with more marzipan and a whiff of maritime notes coming through. Creamy, even silky on the palate with luscious fruit, sweet caramel, marzipan and a slightly tamed warmth with prickling oak spice on the tongue. Quite vibrant! The finish is long, sweet and creamy with soft oak spice on the tail.
Comments: WOW! Can't believe this is only 12 years old! This is a complex, full-bodied and very well-balanced whisky. Starting slightly reserved on the nose, it develops a strong and voluminous mouthfeel with an impressive harmony of sweetness, fruitiness and spiciness, ending in a smooth and creamy finish. Excellent drinkable! Improves with air but It's hard to wait as this is eminently delicious. Well chosen cask by the folks from Signatory Vintage and Kirsch Whisky Import! Too bad it was only one butt.

 

I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample!


Adelphi's Liddesdale 21yo, Batch Release No. 9, Bunnahabhain
ABV: 46%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Adelphi
Cask type: Refill Sherry Butts (1,342 btl.)

 

Colour: Gold.
Nose: A pleasant fruity start on the nose with ripe apples, yellow cherries mixed with pink grapefruit. Discreet vanilla sweetness and subtle Demerara sugar arrive with lingering cinnamon, cloves and gentle oak. Very complex and inebriant!
Palate: Very fruity on the palate with a delicious mix of ripe apples, yellow pears, carambola, and slightly bitter notes of pink grapefruit and orange peel. Gently austere and prickling sweet, like bitter lemon drink, accompanied by a very nice and warming spiciness of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, white pepper and a touch of oak. Smooth and delicate!
Finish: The finish is long and sticky sweet with yellow plum jam, and acacia honey. Becomes slightly bitter with notes of pink grapefruit and orange peel, followed by a lingering warmth of cinnamon and spiced oak.
With water: Clean and fresh on the nose with a splash of water. Oak comes to the fore with a subtle smokiness in the back. Fruity and sweet on the palate with significantly more spiciness. Warm and intense. The finish is a bit shorter with water. Delicate fruit and honey sweetness linger towards the spicy end.
Comments: This is an excellent dram! The sherry isn't overpowering at all. This helps to underline the fruitiness and sweetness of this beauty and to balance them with a very pleasant spiciness in a perfect manner. One of the best Bunnahabhain whiskies over 20 years old I've had in the glass. A dream malt at very reasonable price.

 

I thank Joe Seidel from Joe's Malt Shop for sample and photograph!


Bunnahabhain 36yo, 1978-2015, Mission Gold, Murray McDavid
ABV: 50.4%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Murray McDavid
Cask type: Bourbon Barrel, Finish in Willi Opitz Wine Cask (#1, 269 btl.)

 

Colour: Amber.
Nose: Fruity aroma of red berries intermingle with vinous flavours, sweet malted barley, subtle molasses, and delicate toffee. Notes of freshly sawn oak emerge with walnuts, nutmeg, white pepper, and a whiff of smoke in the back.
Palate: A vinous and sweet start on the palate before a salty kick of nougat and toffee takes over. This is followed by a pleasant warmth of pepper, nutmeg and oak. Slightly bitter notes of dark chocolate emerge, complemented by sea salt and sweet cherry fruitiness towards the finish. A rollercoaster of sweet and salty flavours.
Finish: The finish is long and significant salty with notes of tobacco leaves and warm spice. Slightly drying with fragrant oak on the tail.
With water: Water tames the fruitiness on the nose, bringing more spices, oak, and smoke to the fore. Significantly salty on the palate with bitter fruit, pink grapefruit in particular, tender spiced oak, pepper, and nutmeg. The finish is medium long, subtle sweet and drying with more oak on the tail.
Comments: This is a very satisfying old malt. You would never guess this was 36 years old as the oakiness is only moderately noticeable. Great life, balance and lots of character. A truly bipolar acquaintance - sweet and fruity with a significant saltiness. It’s like a sunshine walk by the sea.

 

I thank the German importer Whiskymax for sample and photograph!


Bunnahabhain 34yo,1980-2014, The Whisky Fair
ABV: 45.4%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°°
Bottling: The Whisky Fair
Cask type: Sherry Wood (230 btl.)

 

Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Very fruity and aromatic on the nose with ripe berries, gooseberry in particular, and floral notes. A hint of pepper emerges, accompanied by ginger, oak and a slightly maritime edge in the back. A very fine and inebriant nose indeed.
Palate: Sweet and creamy on the palate. Ripe garden fruits complemented by a beautiful warmth of delicate spices - ginger, white pepper and oak. Prickling fruit emerges, it's like sherbet, followed by slightly bitter notes of orange peel and pink grapefruit. Good texture with a delicious taste.
Finish: A delightful and rather long finish. Creamy, warm ginger spice and oak on the tongue with sticky fruit jam and a slightly bitterness on the tail.
With water: There's almost no change on the nose with water. The sweetness on the palate is slightly decreased with tamed spices and significantly more bitterness. The finish is medium long, creamy, slightly warm with more bitter notes on the tail.
Comments: A very fine and delicate old dram. No water required, as this brought out an unpleasant bitterness for me. A very satisfying example of an aged malt with charm and class. The sherry is rather discreet, but it's a delicious experience, nonetheless.

 

I thank Dailydram.de for sample and photograph!


Bunnahabhain 25yo, XXV
ABV: 46.3%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Bourbon and Sherry Casks

 

 

Colour: Deep amber.
Nose: Wow - a lot is going on here! Massive load of sherry flavours with dried fruit, raisins, black cherries, rum soaked dates and figs, complemented by sweet Demerara sugar and fine marzipan notes. Cinnamon and delicate nutty notes emerge with tender leather polish, a hint of smoke and a slightly maritime edge in the back. A gorgeous nose!
Palate: The indulgence of intense sherry aromas, raisins, dates and sweet Demerara sugar mingles with a delicious melange of spice - oak, cinnamon, marzipan, ginger and cardamon, ensuring a velvety mouthfeel. Toffee, roasted malt, and chestnuts linger towards the warm finish. Very well integrated and balanced.
Finish: The finish is long, soft and warm with a delicate dispersal of stewed dark fruit and spiced oak lingering on the tongue. A little dry with tender tobacco notes and a slightly salty aftertaste.
With water: Water tames the fruity and sherry sweetness on the nose and increases the spiciness with more smoke and maritme notes coming through. Almost no change on the delicate palate with a bit of prickling spiced oak on the tongue. The finish is long and warm with a slight boost of saltiness.
Comments: A rich, complex, full-bodied whisky with a great balance of sherry aromas, dark flavours and lingering spices. Absolutely delicious! Smooth, silky with a gorgeously long finish. An excellent dram to savour with very good friends. Far more expensive than the 18yo bottling, but worth every penny. My absolute favourite Bunna!


Bunnahabhain 8yo, Heavily Peated, The MacPhail's Collection
ABV: 43%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail
Cask type: Refill Sherry Butts

 

Colour: Gold.
Nose: Fresh and clean on the nose with lots of peat and a slight touch of sweet smoke. Briny with tender coal tar and a delicate fruitiness behind - green apples and pears. Mineral with a scent of seaweed in the back. Quite appealing.
Palate: Surprising sweet start on the palate. Barley sugar mingles with delicate fruits - pears and melons, complemented by a nicely warm mix of spice - cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Briny towards the finish with seaweed, pepper and smouldering wood. Delicate sweet peat is ever-present.
Finish: A delightful medium finish. Initially sweet and warm with malted barley and peat smoke, before dry oak and a whiff of citrus take over. A finish that would be welcomed to stay for ages.
With water: Water almost completely tames the delicate sweetness with peat and smoke coming to the fore. The sweetness on the palate is still present but very subtle with allspice and pepper becoming the dominant flavours. The finish is rather short and gentle warming. Peat and smoke have taken a back seat.
Comments: A very nice and easy drinking all day dram for those who prefer smoky and peated whisky. Would be a good match for seafood. Absolutely great price for an 8 year old Bunnahabhain. But no water please!

 

I thank the German importer Hanseatische Weinhandelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG for sample and photograph!


Bunnahabhain 33yo, 1980-2013, Whisky-Doris
ABV: 45.6%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°°
Bottling: Whisky-Doris
Cask type: Sherry Butt (#92, 460 btl.)

 

Colour: Bright amber.
Nose: Mature notes of dried red fruit, with a melange of sherry, dates, raisins, demerara sugar and madeira cake. Notes of allspice emerge with oak, cinnamon, ginger, a bit of celery salt, and a breeze of sea in the back. With time, delicate chocolate, honey and walnuts arrive with lingering menthol notes. Very complex indeed.
Palate: A creamy almost silky texture, with liquorice, baked apples, sherry flavours, raisins and slightly bitter orange peel. This is immediately complemented by a pleasant spiciness with allspice, oak tannins, a touch of pepper and gentle ginger. Well balanced and lively with dark honey and a whiff of sea salt in the back and a herbal dry but creamy end.
Finish: A medium long finish. Pleasantly sweet at first with dark honey, then gets dry on the tail with lingering herbal notes, organge peel, nutmeg, oak and subtle pepper. Quite warm and creamy on the tongue.
With water: Water tames the fruitiness on the nose while the spicy flavours become more prominent. This change continues on the palate with more pepper and allspice on the tongue. The finish is medium long with warm and prickling spice. Increasingly vibrant!
Comments: A very satisfying old malt. Still very well balanced with a significant influence of oak but delicate mature fruity flavours and lingering honey notes as counterpart. Old Bunnahabhain, made of non-peated barley and matured in sherry casks - you cannot go wrong with them.

 

I thank Whisky-Doris (Versandhandel Doris Debbeler) for sample and photograph!


Bunnahabhain 41yo, 1968-2010 (2008 - misprint on label), Adelphi Selection
ABV: 41.2%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Adelphi
Cask type: Refill Sherry butts (#12401/3, 719 btl.)


Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: What a wonderful nose! Initially, there is a huge amount of liquorice, complemented by black cherries, prunes and raisins. Thick, bold and creamy. A big note of rum soaked fruit cake emerges with oranges and dark chocolate. With time, a whiff of old leather is coming through along with polished furniture and a slight perfume note. The sherry isn't dominant at all. Wonderful balanced with a constantly changing aroma.
Palate: The sweetness of treacle toffee and molasses is immediately present on the palate along with more sherry than in the nose. It is thick, viscous and creamy with crème brûlée, malted barley, roasted walnuts and a gentle herbal touch. Bitter dark chocolate, cocoa powder and even espresso notes emerge, leaving the mouth pleasantly dry. A remarkable whisky.
Finish: Quite long and sweet. Gets drier in the end with a touch of allspice and lingering liquorice.
With water: More spice and reduced sweetness on the nose and palate, with significantly increased herbal and malty flavours, leading to a long and warm finish. Delicious.
Comments: This is a thick, rich and enticing whisky. Not an old but well aged malt with lots of charm and class, which hasn't been too long in the cask. A glorious deep, elegant and delicate Bunnahabhain.


Bunnahabhain 45yo, 1965-2011, The Whisky Fair 2011 Bottling (for 10th anniversary)
ABV: 40.4%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°°
Bottling: The Whisky Fair
Cask type: Bourbon hogshead (161 btl.)


Colour: Bright gold.
Nose: Inebriant with a huge amount of tropical fruit, tangerines, coconuts, and yellow ripe pears. Lots of vanilla is coming through complemented by honey and beeswax tones. Lingering toffee notes emerge with a delicate nuttiness and some herbal notes. A gorgeous nose!
Palate: The nose didn't promise too much. Full of overripe tropical fruit, thick apricot marmalade, cooked quince, mango, passion fruit and banana. Sticky blossom honey and vanilla emerge with lingering oak spice, subtle cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg underneath. Complex and delicious.
Finish: A long and clean finish, sweet with lingering tropical fruitiness and dry oak spice, complemented by a slightly bitterness of cold black tea.
With water: Water has almost no alleviative effect on the fruitiness but slightly increases the spiciness. Well balanced still.
Comments: This is a very delicate, old-style Bunnahabhain with a fantastic nose. Very complex on the palate with a great balance of fruit and spice. Could have been filled at higher strength but hey, this is 45 years old! An inebriant experience!


Bunnahabhain 12yo, 1998-2011, Adelphi Selection
ABV: 55.0%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Adelphi
Cask type: First fill sherry cask (#6038, 632 btl.)

 

Colour: Mahogany.
Nose: The nose starts off with lots of sherry flavours, complemented by slightly woody notes, and polished mahogany furniture. A hint of balsamic vinegar emerges, very creamy, along with a whiff of smoke. Surprisingly, there's no fruit.
Palate: Boy, this is initially bold and mouth-coating. Voluptuous with sherry, brown sugar sweetness, along with some woody tones, cinnamon, lingering oak spice and subtle smoke. Surprisingly dry on the palate.
Finish: Medium to long and warm finish. Doesn't change much though.
With water: Still sweet on the nose with lots of sherry, an increased spiciness on the palate, followed by a medium and warm finish.
Comments: This is a very nice sherried and unpeated bunnahabhain. Not the most complex dram on the planet but rather straight down the line. Delicate sweetness but lacks the delicious dark ripe fruits mostly accompanied by heavily sherried whiskies.


Bunnahabhain 21yo, 1990-2012, Gunfire on Deck, Sansibar
ABV: 48.0%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Sansibar
Cask type: Ex-sherry wood (607 btl.)


Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: Starts dry on the nose. Beautifully balanced sherry aromas with lots of dried fruit, plums, cherries, rum soaked raisins, zesty orange and heather honey complemented by delicate chocolate and leathery notes with a whiff of smoke and nutty tones. Very complex and multilayer. The aroma is alternate changing in waves again and again. A dram to be nosed four hours!
Palate: Again sherry plays a big role here. There’s luscious, rich fruit cake with stewed plum, cherries, sultanas, orange before dark chocolate, leathery notes and tobacco favours take over. Earthy with a subtle bitterness. Not at all overpowered by the alcohol, very well-balanced.
Finish: The finish is gloriously long, warm and sweet with lingering sherry, tobacco and dark chocolate.
With water: At first there's increased sweetness with succulent fruit, quickly followed by spicy flavours, oak and hints of nutts complementing the underlying earthy edge.
Comments: A complex, well-balanced, sherried whisky. Bold, intense but rounded with a gorgeous nose. A warming winter dram, balancing sweety/fruity and earthy/leathery notes nicely.


Bunnahabhain 22yo, 1990-2013, Christmas Malt, The Whisky Chamber
ABV: 53.2%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: The Whisky Chamber
Cask type: Sherry hogshead (#54/1990, 229 btl.)


Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: Strong, bold and rich. Intense sherry flavours, toffee and aromatic dark honey. Dark dried fruits, rum soaked cherries coated with fine bitter chocolate. The alcohol is well-integrated but still present on the nose. Very delicate!
Palate: Lively with a rich sherry sweetness, along with black cherries, dark chocolate and fine marzipan tones. Nutty with a hint of tobacco and smoke arising on the middle. Soft and prickling oaky spice.
Finish: Strong and quite long. Intense but smooth in the end. Luscious sherry sweetness and X-mas spice. Very harmonious!
With water: Softer, even silky with a creamy sweetness of sherry, cherries, significantly more marzipan and nutty tones. Water tames the alcohol and emphasises the cask's sweetness.
Comments: Nomen est omen. This is truly an excellent example of a X-mas dram. Bold, intense, warm sherried whisky with lingering fruity sweetness and spice. The structure is well-balanced. Another great shot from The Whisky Chamber. Well done!


I thank the German independent bottler The Whisky Chamber for the photo.


Bunnahabhain 18yo, XVIII 2010, Distillery Bottling
ABV: 46.3%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Sherry, Bourbon and refill American oak casks


Colour: Bright gold with red reflections.
Nose: A lot is going on here. Sweet and sherried maritime nose. Orange marmalade and dark dried fruits (blueberry, raspberry), raisins mixed with damped wood. Earthy and leathery notes, ginger spice and a hint of cinnamon. Typical Bunnahabhain style with pleasant balsamic vinegar.
Palate: Wow! Sweet arrival of dried dark fruits, ginger and cinnamon spice, nutmeg. Silky, bold and very complex. Earthy notes with malted barley and delicate toffee. Hints of leather and dark bitter chocolate shines through. Very will integrated and balanced.
Finish: Quite long and intense. Sweet fruitiness with lots of spice, pepper, dark dry chocolate and tobacco. Ends in a slightly salty finish.
With water: Water tamed the fruity and sherry sweetness and increased the spiciness of this dram. The is a slight boost of saltiness.
Comments: A complex, full-bodied and great balanced whisky with an impressive finish. Excellent drinkable, at best on the shore at Bunnahabhain distillery with a nice view to the paps of Jura.


Bunnahabhain 26yo, 1988-2014, Kirsch Gateau, Single Cask Release
ABV: 56%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°°
Bottling: Wemyss
Cask type: Sherry butt (442 btl.)


Colour: Deep amber
Nose: Full and rich with lots of treacle sherry, dark ripe fruits, alcohol-soaked cherries. Smells like liquid black forrest cherry cake. Marzipan and raisins, all the typically suspects one might expert from this sherry bomb. Chocolate and hints of oak come through at the end.
Palate: Wow! Full explosion of all the flavours from the nose. Sweetness, sherry, lots of cherries and raisins, marzipan and fine dark chocolate. Very thick indeed.
Finish: Quite long and warm finish with lots of sherry and marzipan. Creamy, dates and oak spices.
With water: Stays creamy and keeps the sweetness of the old sherry and dark fruits. Very pleasant to drink.
Comments: Wow - this is a real sherry bomb. Outstanding and excellent. But one has to like these flavours of dark fruits, old sherry, marzipan and raisins. But as I very much appreciate a piece of black forest cherry cake this Bunnahabhain definitely is my liquid alternative.