SMWS 10.128 Sea Salt and Smoked Peppered Almonds

Posted 09 November 2017 / In Bunnahabhain
The Dramble's tasting notes for SMWS 10.128 Sea Salt & Smoked Peppered Almonds
Bottle Name: 

10.128 Sea Salt and Smoked Peppered Almonds

ABV: 58.4%
Distillery: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Region: Islay

A Bunnahabhain that’s certainly ‘Moine’ given the dark green flavour profile colour. Distilled on 10th December 2007, this whisky spent 9 years in an ex-Bourbon hogshead and then was transferred to a 2nd fill toasted oak hogshead. Seeing as it’s still listed as 9 year old, it wasn’t in that toasted jobbie for very long. One of 253 bottles.

Nose: Salty sea air, brine and brackish water. There’s some sherbet sweetness to begin with which has a sharpness that’s quite mineral, like granite or limestone. Peat smoke is sweet, but somewhat background presently. Water brings out salted peanuts and adds a bit of greenhouse to the affair – with both fruits and vegetables.

Taste: Much bigger phenolic influence now and a somewhat aggressive arrival. Oily and rich smoke that is both dusty and rather dirty (I often find Bunnahbhain’s ‘Moine’ this way). There’s sharpness from citrus and salinity alongside a touch of balsamic vinegar. Adding some water makes this much less hostile and adds in some pepperiness. It also makes the back palate even more peaty.

Finish: Medium with dirty smoke and a lick of salt.

There are two Bunnahabhain’s in this month’s outturn and I think I need to try the other one. This bottling is rightfully in the heavily peated flavour category and that can be a fun thing – but in this case the smoke to my taste has rather overpowered some of the fresher notes I’d expect to find in a Moine. There’s still vibrancy here, but it's come from minerality and sharpness rather than from fruit or cask spice. By no means bad, but certainly not the best peated Bunna I’ve had from the Society recently.

Score: 80/100

Master of Malt
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