Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old

Bunnahabhain Distillery

Perhaps it’s not as well known as it’s neighbouring brothers. Not as cool as Ardbeg, or as out there as Bruichladdich, but Bunnahabhain is releasing bloody good whisky at the moment. The new 12yo, which was released summer 2010 with the strength upped and filtering removed, is top stuff. Briney, sherried, brown sugar, with a lovely likeness to Springbank. The 18yo is excellent and some of the smoky experiments I have tried from them have been of high quality. So I was really excited when I received a sample of Bunnahabhain 40yo. But fearful too. I have been really excited about drams of this age before, and I have been disappointed. It’s very difficult to keep something in a cask this long without it getting too woody. Let’s find out if it matches my excitement:

Bunnahabhain 40yo
41.5% ABV
750 bottles
If you have an extra 2 grand kicking about, buy it here

Nose: Oranges, tangerines, mineral notes, waxy, vanilla, lime and parma violets. Slight floral notes. So many little and varied aromas. It is a truly fascinating and enjoyable nose. Lively and expressive for its age.

Unbelievable stuff on the nose. You could nose it for hours. I wish I had the time.

With Water: More bananas, heather and cream. Takes water, but is equally good without.

Palate: Initial burst of sugar syrup and brown sugar. Tropical notes and treacle notes which coat the mouth, followed by almonds, biscuits, caramel, honey and butter.

With Water: Even more interesting flavours. Lemon, lime and more floral notes.

Well done. This is a very good whisky. I think it is one of the best whiskies I have tasted this year.

Chris Hoban

 

Comments

  1. A great review, Chris. Bunnahabhain is tragically underrated, both as a dram and as a distillery. The place has one of the most stunning and tranquil locations of any whisky distillery, and the head stillman Robert Morton cannot be beaten as a tour guide.

    Also, I was lucky enough to sneak into a masterclass with Kirstie McCallum at WhiskyLuxe who was presenting the 25yo. It was the last dram of the evening, and it still made its excellence felt – even after a Smokehead. One of the best whiskies I’ve ever encountered.

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