1978-2009 in wood. One of 566 bottles.
This is the oldest Bunnahabhain I’ve tried to date. Interestingly enough, the profile is almost exactly what I would expect from an old Bunna. It’s almost uncanny, especially considering this is an independent release.
Admittedly I have a bit of a soft spot for Bunnahabhain. On an island renowned for its peat and smoke monsters, Bunnahabhain is the soft-spoken gentle giant. Quiet of tread, yet decidedly assured. This immediately endears me to a malt that stands on its own merit, and not on the back of a profile that just so happens to tickle my tastebuds (that of beefy peat and billowy smoke).
This old Islay gent gives us a nose of stewed fruits and a wee bit of smoke. Some creamy caramel and sweet old sherry notes. Mincemeat tarts and dry rye bread. Rich liqueur-soaked pears. ‘Age’, as much as that is actually a flavor note in and of itself. This borders on being a beautiful nose, really something special, but in the end only toes the line.
On the palate…a little skunky. Bitterness blocks the fruits that are bouncing around and trying desperately to peek over it’s shoulder. Not nearly as sweet as the nose hints at. Sharp dates and currants. Still good, but sadly…a letdown.
I think locally this retailed for about $200CA. Absolutely worthwhile.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt