Posted 18 March 2021 by Matt / In Bunnahabhain
Bottle Name: Bunnahabhain 2013
Bottler: Skene Whisky
Closing out our Skene Whisky trio is a vatting of two concurrently filled, peated Bunnahabhain hogsheads (#878 and #879). Distilled in 2013 and bottled at the end of 2020, 504 bottles were released and are still available via the Skene Whisky online shop for £42.
Nose: Opening on warm, dry smoke that offers an amalgamation of coast, forest and hospital – pebbles and sandy loam alongside pine needles and curry leaves with a swipe of surface disinfectant. Fruitiness is expressed as pears roasted over a wood-chip filled BBQ whilst burnt toast and singed pastry add sweeter, but still in-tune additional aromas. Dilution transposes slightly – ozone and wet leaf mulch alongside white chocolate covered shortbread.
Taste: Sweet with peat. And a somewhat unexpected development. Smoked orchard fruits give way to antiseptic cream before a combination of lime and lemon zest erupts with a tangibly ashy combination of fireplace cinders and coal dust. The speed of this transitions is unexpected – feeling like a compressed download that will take several sips to properly unpack. In the back palate - dark woods and medicinal, mentholated oakiness are joined by a sprinkle of salinity. The addition of water increases the sweetness levels with lemon gel and candied lime zest alongside hewn limestone, sticking plasters and floor cleaner.
Finish: Medium to long with minty medicinalness and lemon drops together with sustained ash and coastal rockiness.
The peat influence of this Skene Bunnahabhain is far from a sedate back seat passenger. It’s firming in the driving seat – and at times feels like the breakneck speed of a wild ride. But despite this lack of structure, the composition is certainly enjoyable if you like your smoke straddling a variety of influences from maritime to medicinal via a woodland. As with other Skene bottlings released at the same time, this is pitched at a considerably lower price than many bottlers are pushing – particularly for this style of heavily peated Bunna. Not flawless – but there’s still plenty of beauty and enjoyment in imperfection.
Review sample provided by Skene Whisky
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