Always good to see Bunnahabhain on the SMWS menu and this month’s outturn has two examples – we’re taking a look at the ‘moine’ version which has been matured for 9 years in a refill ex-bourbon barrel. Peated profile.
Nose: Slightly delicate and restrained to begin with – spring onion crisps, cream cheese crackers and BBQ’d meats are greeted by more typical moine-eque rubber and engine oil. There’s a breadiness here part fresh and yeasty, part buttered toast. Water emphasises the coastal qualities of this whisky with rock pools, wet slate and granite.
Taste: Surprisingly drinkable at its natural 60.1% ABV. A smorgasbord of sweet and smoky meats, honey, brine and salted caramel. There’s an ever so slight medicinal quality here….surface cleaner and iodine, but its subservient to the more BBQ driven flavours. The addition of water adds salinity (salt beef) as well was some fairly drying black pepper.
Finish: Medium in length, still meaty and with a good shake of pepper and salt.
Straight-forward but tasty peated Bunnahabhain. There’s a good array, and balance, between the sweet and the savoury flavours, but for my money I prefer my smoky Bunnas with a wee bit more grime to them – the usual dirty, pungent qualities of moine are underplayed here, with the more meaty aromas and flavours well in the driving seat. Tasty enough, but there’s been better 10’s recently.