Over to the North East coast of Islay for a 13 year old 2nd fill ex-bourbon Bunnahabhain.
Nose: Initially a touch shy, but opening substantively after a brief resting period. Pear juice sweetness is tempered by minerality in the form of rockpools, shingle beaches and salt water. In the background, honeysuckle and heather provide floralness whilst chalk and crushed aspirin add to the minerality but in a dusty fashion. Reduction adds plenty of brine whilst also emphasising biscuit crumb, underipe mango and reed-like grassiness.
Taste: Chiselled and hewn with flintiness, granite beach groynes and chalky cliffs. Sage seasoned sausages, fleshly caught line-fish and sharp and tart lemon is supported by salinity and gentle nutmeg spicing. The addition of water is stunningly transformative – moving away from the coast and into the bake house – rolled pastry, crepes and toffee covered choux buns with just the slightly touch of smoky charred wood.
Finish: Medium and tart with lemon and grapefruit alongside warm malty bread and chipped limestone.
Interesting. In its natural high ABV state this Bunna is precise, sharp and mineral - but once reduced it takes on an entirely different composition on the palate, favouring natural sugars and patisserie over its coastal origins. Solid and entirely enjoyable.