Straight-forward refill ex-bourbon Bunnahabhain from 2007 – not much to go wrong there. View on SMWS
Nose: Entirely coastal with a big hit of salty sea breeze, granite, shale and alluvial clay. Dried fish, rock pools and seaweed keep with the maritime theme, whilst vanilla buns, popcorn and toasted bread draw directly from the refill ex-bourbon. Dilution introduces a basket of fruits – lemons, peaches, white grapes and gooseberries.
Taste: Still sticking firmly with the coast - limestone, chalk and shingle sit with salted lemons and plenty of kelp. A touch of engine oil, axle grease and coal dust, hark to the Victorian workhouse look of this Islay distillery – dirty and mechanised, but still with a focus on sharp minerality at all times. The mid to back-palates once again draw from the wood – vanilla custard and toasted cereals. A few drops of water adds desiccated coconut and salted toffee. But, make no mistake, whichever way you serve this, it’s always chiselled.
Finish: Medium, salty and mineral with fading lemons and gooseberries.
In many ways, this Bunnahabhain is a bit of a one-trick pony. But, if you like your whiskies mineral and coastal (which I most certainly do) you’ll no doubt be pleased by quite how sharp and precise this 11 year old Bunnahabhain is. Salt, salt and more salt.