Coming to the last bottling from this year’s Feis Ile festival 2014, Bunnahabhain have released two different Festival expressions : Westering Home, a 17 year old selling for a whopping £250, and the second is called ‘Dràm an Stiùreadair’ (pronounced Draam an Yoù-radar – meaning The Helmsman’s Dram in Gaelic), that was cheaper and more approachable at £95. Not often does Bunnahabhain release a young smoky OB, and this is just one. This 10 year old whisky was first matured in ex-American bourbon casks for nine years before being finished for one year in a Marsala cask. Young peat and wine casks can work well together if done right, and this one is indeed a good example of such a combination. If you’re expecting a soft, lightly peated Bunny, you’re in for a surprise, this is a Killer bunny. Big peat, Big wine finish, Big in any way. and cracking.
Nose: Very maritime to start with. Sea breeze. Brine. Sweet peat. Rather creamy with a rich vanilla flan sort of aroma. Crushed peppercorns. Hot Cinnamon gum. Wood smoke.
Palate: Starting with a pepper on the initial attack , then getting sweeter with sweet peat, fortified wine , cinnamon , red fruit jam , brine, leather and some fudge. Sweet spicy and peaty. The Marsala finish works well with the young heavy peat profile.
Finish : Pepper. Brine. Hot cinnamon,peat and some lotus caramelized biscuit.
This, my friends, a brilliant young peated bunny. Highly enjoyable, lovely integration of the peat and Marsala. Can’t go wrong with that one. It’s maybe the second or third best bottling for this festival.
Summing it all up`
If i have to sum up things, after tasting all 8 of this year’s bottling, I can really say it was well worth trying and sampling them. Clearly the winner by KO is the amazing Lagavulin, followed by the Monstrous Octomore Kilchoman, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain and Ardbeg, with a rather disappointing Coal IlA, a nice but not ground breaking Cairdeas. Not bad at all.
A word of thanks to my #whisktfabric friends who helped, and organized this amazing bottle share. You rock guys.