Distilled in October 2013 this peated Bunnahabhain was initially matured for 5 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead before being transferred into a 2nd fill French oak barrique.
Nose: Sunday roast. A full roasted beef served with dripping and rosemary and balsamic gravy. Langoustines and bouillabaisse speak of the sea, whilst brine and pine needles provide a freshening background for powerful chimney smoke. The addition of water expresses oily rags and boiled veg together with wire wool and pan fats.
Taste: Rich, fat and industrially focussed. Buttered prawns meet smoked lemons whilst axle grease and bacon lardons sit with tarred ropes and antiseptic cream. Wood smoke develops together with icing sugar and tart grapefruit segments. Reduction softens things up quickly with breakfast kippers, kelp and samphire together with creamed rice.
Finish: Medium and expressing felted roofing, burnt logs and industrial lubricants.
Bold, intense and as industrially-tuned as I like my peated Bunnahabhains to be. The quality and sweetness of the underlying spirit anchors the whole experience with just the right amount of pliability to offset the noticeably dirty peat smoke. Tautly balanced and bottled at just the right time to showcase the inherent power of the distillate. Right up my alley – and my pick of this month.