This limited edition Bunnahabhain was matured in refill ex-bourbon hogsheads until 2016 when it was re-racked into port pipes for a finishing period. The end result has been bottled with an ABV of 55.3% and an RRP of £90.
Nose: Heady and highly expressive – piquant with port-laced alcohol. Raspberry and redcurrant cobbler fresh out of the oven, served with a side of fermented orange rinds and strawberry bootlaces. Blackcurrant jams and preserves are joined by mulled wine and chocolate sponge cake, whilst balsamic and pickled onion crisps provide a sharp and pungent addition. In the background, dustiness from bung cloth, dry, cracked earth and cinnamon sticks. The addition of water softens things up presenting creamy berry Eaton mess, yeasty bread, plum syrup and hazelnut.~~
Taste: Juicy, rich and full-bodied with plenty of viscosity in the mouth. Cherries and berries lead off – part bright, part reduced and part vinous. Mulled wine again – plums, steeped grapes, figs and reduced sugars. The development unleashes spice – plenty of it – black pepper, cinnamon and anise – alongside tanned leather hides, old cloth and mulched leaves. Reduction here seems less advisable, it unlocks a deep woody vein of sawdust, balsa and oak chips. Things were better before.
Finish: Medium, with green vegetal leafiness, raspberry wine gums and fading pepperiness.
This port pipe finished Bunnahabhain offers pronounced and bold aromas and flavours. It’s not messing around. The nose is incredibly intense with fruits and spices, whilst the palate delivers rich, wine-fortified flavours aplenty. But, with this much concentrated finishing, the underlying distillery spirit seems quite overwhelmed –undoubtedly tasty, but identifiably Bunna? – I’m less sure.
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