Batch 53 of A'Bunadh was released in 2016, and like all Abunadh's has been aged in 100% oloroso sherry casks. The bottling is an NAS that's composed of a marriage of whiskies from 5, up to 25 years of age.
Nose: Richly sherried with fruits forward and a little less spice than I’ve experienced in other batches. The sherry here is quite fresh and vibrant – berries, neat and reduced, chocolate – some dark, some milk and bright orange peels. Raisins and prunes all in place as expected, and with gentle walnut nuttiness. Deeper there’s earthiness that I find a touch on the leafy side – pepper and spice lurk here, just under the surface. Water heightens the walnuts and adds a sense of opulent richness with chocolate sauce and toffee.
Taste: Syrupy and with an arrival that is more about expansiveness of flavour than about initial attack. Starting with toffee, fudge and chocolate sauce, pepperiness (both black and chilli) building steady throughout the developing, starting with a tingle and ending quite prickly. Nut-strewn fruitcake is joined by jams and marmalades. In the back palate, dusty dry wood starts to make itself known and is joined by eucalyptus and slight herbalness. The addition of water reduces bitterness, but at the same time increases dryness.
Finish: Medium to long with chocolate, drying oak and chilli pepper heat.
An interesting batch of A’Bunadh that hold backs slightly on the nose, but then unleashes an interesting journey through pepper when in the mouth. The chilli spice sits exceedingly well with the rich fruit and chocolate undertones, making for something you might by from Montezuma’s Chocolate shop. Perhaps lacking a little balance overall and with a bit too much wood influence in places.
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