So, here it is, the batch of A'Bunadh that changed everything. One minute, this bottling was £50 - overnight it shot up to £80. Let's at least hope it's a good one.
Nose: Immediate sherry, but seemingly quite old and musty – less fresh fruit, more reduced, preserved and dry. Chocolate, orange rind, walnut are joined by spend coffee grounds and tanned leather. Pepper spice is present and correct – black and chilli – perhaps even with a sprinkle of salt – an interesting combination. Water increases sweetness, as well as bringing out real earthiness and nuts – walnuts (of course).
Taste: Syrupy and viscous – almost oily in texture. A combination of sweetness of fruit and bitterness of spice. Caramel, chocolate, leather, raisins and reduced berries – alongside pepper, chilli, eucalyptus and cough medicine. Water really benefits this whisky, taking the edge off the spice and bitterness and adding in a wealth of fruits – orange, baked apricots, redcurrants and cranberries.
Finish: Medium with chocolate, chilli pepper, dusty wood, and seemingly quite a lot of sticky tannins.
This batch of A’Bunadh is quite intriguing. On the one hand, older dusty sherry casks come through strongly, on the other, fresh, younger casks exert themselves with bitterness and oak dryness. Rather the juxtaposition. It works well and presents an exceedingly rich and syrupy batch – but perhaps at the expense of some balance.
So, were this still £50, I'd be telling you all about what fantastic value this bottling is. At £80, whilst the quality is still of the high level you'd expect from this series, the value proposition has diminished substantially. Oh and it seems that Batch 62 has just been released - with another £2 added on top. The mind boggles.