Over to Islay for a 10 year old Bunna that’s been matured for 9 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead and then finished for an additional year in a 1st fill moscatel hogshead.
Nose: Immediately coastal with seashells, rock pools and hewn granite. But the main order of the day here is rich buttery seafood – langoustines, crab cocktail and lobster claws. ‘Green’ aromas from lettuce and sea vegetables are joined by the creamy richness of a well-made bisque, whilst background oily smoke punctuates, but never pervades. Dilution causes flashbacks to fish and chips by the seaside, with battered cod and a vinegar and salt dosed crunchy chips.
Taste: Lemon jelly sweets and zesty limes are served with crab cakes and shelled prawns whilst steely minerality introduces cliff faces and plenty of brine. The inherent industrialness which I’ve come to expect and love from Bunnahabhain is present and correct – a swipe of axle grease and a puff of engine smoke. Reduction amps up the sweetness with grapes and lime juice (margeritas once you add the salinity) whilst lowering the definition of lubricants and oils.
Finish: Long, salty with bine and with lingering lemon drizzled seafood.
An on-point Bunnahabhain that ably captures all of the distillery’s unique distillate – chiselled coastalness, rich buttery seafood and just a hint of Victorian workhouse. Balanced, delicious and my joint pick of the month.