Today we shall be having a look at a single cask Bunnahabhain, released by the good folks at Douglas Laing as part of their Old Particular range.
Bunnahabhain is one of Islay's 9 distilleries. Normally producing unpeated malt, although there are peated releases. Originally founded in the 1880's. Constructing it meant not only building the distillery but houses as well, putting in a road, and adding on a pier so that casks and barley could come in, and whisky go out.
Everything about it is large, from the huge courtyard to the stills. It is these with their low fill levels and massive amount of available copper which help to craft what has always been a light style of malt. Ageing has traditionally been in ex-Sherry casks which adds a sumptuous sweet richness to the spirit though quite where the spicy ginger note, which is a marker for Bunna’, comes from is unclear. Occasionally refill casks show an almost salty edge.
Douglas Laing’s daughter Cara joined her father, bringing with her significant Scotch whisky experience, having acted as global brand manager for Jura single malt, before serving as marketing manager for Bowmore and Glen Garioch.
Here we have a lightly peated, 12 year old, single cask Bunnahabhain. There are only 331 bottles charged from a refill hogshead, and it is released at 48.4%ABV without added colour or chill filtration.
The nose opens with butter pastry and orange peel. Hints of opal sweets. Develops more bite with charred oak and a slightly salty sea air vibe. Time in the glass allows these two distinct flavour profiles to marry nicely. A touch of water brings out sugar sweetness and a touch of peat.
The palate opens with BBQ'd citrus fruits, somewhere between watermelon and pineapple. Gentle pipe tobacco in the background. Time in the glass brings back in the salty sea air vibe. Touch of water brings out more peat notes and something approaching old leather.
The finish is medium long with a malty, marmalade quality. Leaves behind salted caramel/orange peel notes after it has been sent down.
A fantastic whisky, showing off that Bunnahabhain still shines outside of its natural sherry home.
You can grab your's here: https://tinyurl.com/v2zwkrc