Bunnahabhain is not my favourite among Islay malts, and the OBs tend to be very lightly peated. However the peated versions I’ve had are nice, and I have some very good memories of the 18 year old PX finish from last years’ Feis Ile (It was not heavily peated, but it was excellent, nevertheless). This one is indeed highly peated, and from first sniff, It seemed i am going to like it. As it happens 1997 was the first your Bunna started distilling highly peated whisky, and as Erik pointed out, nearly every IB has a bottling of a 1997 Bunna. I’ve not tasted a lot of those, but those i have were far better than the usual entry level Bunna 12.
Bunnahabhain 13yo, 56,2% ABV , 120 btl
Nose: Ah… this is a peaty one, one of those… We start with smoke, dry leaves, some sweet malty notes as well. There is an alcohol bite on the nose, that needs to be tamed with a few drops of water.Funny enough i am getting a few notes of cloves.
Palate: A powerful entry with tons of wood smoke, peat, smoked ham, rubber, continuing with spicy pepper, and sweet n’ sour burnt sugar. With water its gets even more spicy, but the malty sweeter tones and the burnt sugar are also intensified, which results in a sweet n’ Spicy combination that is very nice.
Finish : Lingering smoke, malty sweetness, and ash.
A very enjoyable dram! and not your ordinary ‘bunny’. A young, smoky, peaty and kicking with spice, pepper and smoke. Like all Islay malts should be.