August 2019: Cask Strength Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain

After recent trip to Scotland, Flight Club members Lee BullockScott Hill, and Christopher Crow wanted to try and recreate an experience from their favorite Scotch distillery – Bunnahabhain.

At the Bunnahabhain distillery, they had the opportunity to taste five cask strength barrels pulled directly from the barrel.  Our tasting lineup featured four bottles at cask strength and a bottle from Bunnahabhain’s signature line.

Glasgow Mule

Cocktail: Glasgow Mule

Ingredients: Bunnahabhain 12-year, lime juice, elderflower liqueur, angostura bitters, ginger beer.

Recipe: Fill glass with ice cubes, add 2 ounces Bunnahabhain 12-year, ¾ ounce lime juice, ½ ounce elderflower liqueur, 4 ounces ginger beer, and a dash of angostura bitters. Stir gently with bar spoon.


Bunnahabhain

Bottle 1: Bunnahabhain 18 Year

Country of Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Proof: 92.6

Price: $129.99

Purchase location: Plaza Wine and Spirits

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Very fruit-forward, without the 12-year’s strong Oloroso influence; loads of dried fruit, with strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, apricot, and tropical fruit; some  light sea salt; rich butterscotch; some toffee and peanut mixture; honey; sherry.

Palate: The fruit continues to lead, with citrus fruits emerging most prominently; transitions into the sea salt and sherry; cinnamon and nutmeg; very light pepper and caramel.

Finish: Cohesive with the palate, making it hard to distinguish when the palate ends and finish begins; some additional apple cider; medium in length, but carries the complexity and depth of the palate.

Why this bottle is featuredThis is a good starting point for a Bunnahabhain tasting. The 18 Year is considered to be a staple in every Scotch drinker’s collection. It is approachable, yet complex, and fits a special occasion without being too pricey.


Bunnahabhain

Bottle 3: Cadenhead’s 2009 Bunnahabhain 9 Year 

Country of Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Proof: 117.6

Price: $66.94

Purchase location: Scotch Whisky Auctions

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Sourdough; pumpkin pie; almond; lemon custard; cedar; moth ball; butterscotch; fruit cake; white chocolate.

Palate: Shortbread; lemon meringue pie; pixie stick; floral.

Finish: Sharply sweet; chalky; oyster cracker.

Why this bottle is featured: Cask strength barrel aged in Bourbon Hogshead Cask, one of 300 bottles.


Bunnahabhain

Bottle 4: The Scotch Whiskey Society 13 Year Feis Ile 2019

Country of Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Proof: 123.6

Price: $182.56

Purchase location: Scotch Whisky Auctions

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Tropical fruit; kiwi; fresh linens; pine.

Palate: Briny with sea salt and cantaloupe; green apple; pear.

Finish: Sulfuric; peat; salt; red apple.

Why this bottle is featured: Cask Strength bottled for the 2019 Feis Ile, one of 205 bottles released.


Bunnahabhain

Bottle 5: Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2016 16 year old amontillado

Country of Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Proof: 108.2

Price: $200.81

Purchase location: Scotch Whisky Auctions

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Punchy sherry; raisin; dried fruit; Twizzlers.

Palate: Raspberries; teriyaki beef jerky; black cherry.

Finish: Echoes the palate; fig newton; black peppercorn.

Why this bottle is featured: Wanted a cask strength barrel bottled by Bunnahabhain, first 10 years in bourbon casks and then 6 years in Amontillado casks.  One of 250 bottles.


Bunnahabhain

Bottle 6: Bunnahabhain 1999 18-year-old Cadenhead’s warehouse tasting

Country of Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Age: 18

Proof: 99.6

Price: $133.88

Purchase location: Scotch Whisky Auctions

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Soft; grainy; but then opens up incredibly with some extra time in the glass, revealing creamed corn, caramel, dried strawberries, peach pit, green tea, and malt balls.

Palate: Raisin; almond; vanilla; freshly buttered croissant; cantaloupe.

Finish: Pie crust; blueberries; flaky pastry.

Why this bottle is featured: Cask Strength hogshead cask.

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