After the lovely 17 year old Caperdonich which was bottle #1 in the ‘Rare Casks’ series, comes the 2nd bottling of an older 23 year old Bunnahabhain. Unlike younger versions from the 1990’s which are heavily peated and smoky on the nose, this one is gentler and packs some punch but you will have to wait for the palate to fully enjoy the smoke. As time goes by, i learn to appreciate and love Bunna more and more, having tasted some lovely drams. One can say it’s a good distillery, but in the shadow of bigger and ‘sexier’ distilleries on Islay, and that should be changed. This one is 23 yo, but the cask strength is “only” 44% which is not very common (it’s not diluted), but it provides for a nice dramming experience even though.
Nose: Gentle sea spray and brine. Malty notes in addition to a bit of sweet citrus as in lemon curd Further exploration will reveal some hints of sweet marshmallow.
Palate: Boom! Here comes the peat and smoke storm. Very nice and totally unexpected after the rather peat-shy nose. Pepper. Some sweet fruity notes too. Apple and then soot and going on nicely with sea spray.
Finish: Smoke , a bit of salt and bits of pepper.
This is a very nice whisky, not extremely complex, but very enjoyable providing the right combination of maritime, soot, peat and smoke notes, without missing on fruit. A colourful melange , and quite easy to drink more and more, due to the gentle ABV%.
official sample provided by Abbey Whisky