Master of Malt really are wonderful chaps – my Bunnahabhain was sadly missing in action from the Boutique-y Advent calendar (accidentally replaced with a duplicate of Saturday’s upcoming dram). A short conversation later, and here it is first thing this morning ready for tasting – thanks guys! This is the oldest Bunna from Boutique-y so far, coming in at 35 years of age – seemingly it wouldn’t have lasted too much longer in the cask as the ABV is right on the cusp at 40.2%.
Nose: No hiding the age here – polish from the get go, alongside golden tobacco and some dusty leather aromas. Sweet and sour citrus plays along with fresh oranges and a light minerality – steely coastal air. After some resting, fruitiness intensifies with tart apples, peaches and ripe melon and balance moves into the excellent category.
Taste: Fruity and quite woody. A gentle arrival (due to the 40.2%) ABV, but still completely mouth coating and not thin feeling. Oranges and peaches again, alongside tangerines and bananas (fruits are part fresh, part jammy) – all wrapped up in well-judged, woodiness – vanillins, sandalwood, dusty oak, polished wood and steeped tea. Spicing is highly delicate – a touch bitter, but sitting beautifully against the sweeter elements. Resting enhances both the depth of fruit and likewise the polish flavours.
Finish: Long, and surprisingly not all that astringent despite 35 years of oak contact. Juicy fruits and polished wood fade in the palate for what seems like an age.
This well-aged Bunna is quite the treat. Despite the long maturation period, it has retained much of its fruity liveliness and character, and likewise feels quite natural and organic rather than being overwrought with heavy-handed oak. Delicate and sophisticated, this will especially reward those who give the whisky the respect it deserves and leave it to rest for a good a 20-30 minutes. This might have been missing in action in my Advent calendar, but it was well worth waiting for.