Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1989 Bass (43.1%, Lockett Bros, HH #5721, 2013)

 ‘Bass’ Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1989 (Lockett Bros)

43.1% ABV, £79.99 for 70cl available from Lockett Bros (here)

Score: 91/100

What they say:

An astonishing 24 year old single cask Bunnahabhain, bottled for our latest in our series of Island bottlings. Expect an incredible depth of flavour and complexity from this old beauty. Distilled 20/10/1989, Bottled 4/11/2013 from Hogshead No. 5721, Cask Strength 43.1%

Nose: Tropical and sweet, notes of rancio, sherried peels, Serrano ham, fresh herbs and toffee.

Palate: Aniseed and linseed oil, toasted oak, creamy fudge, oily smoke and bonfires along the seafront.

Finish: Sweet and spiced, notes of star anise, applewood, toffee and cherries.

Lockett Bros

What I say:

A cask strength, 24 year old independently bottled Bunnahabhain for under £80 sounds a little too good to be true, or does it… There was no danger when I spotted this in Lockett Bros that I was going to leave without one. Best of all I got to have a wee sample of it first, and have a good look at the cask it was matured in.

Colour:

Pale refractive gold

Nose:

Floral and light, citrusy lemon cream puffs, puff pastry, madeira cake, sweet (oilseed rape) honey, a little brine and a very delicate lovage or fenugreek (methi) / sotolon (3-Hydroxy-4,5-dimethylfuran-2(5H)-one)

Taste:

Smooth and creamy with a good balance of sweet and sour, some fruit such as peach, melon, pear and apples, oak wood and cereal mash, cotton candy sweetness before bonfires, matches and that sulphuric scent left in the wake of fireworks that have just been set off, like fire-toasted marshmallows

Finish:

Long, almost effervescent oaky wood followed by lemon cough drops or barley sugars tempered by wood astringency and those tendrils of bonfire and match smoke

Would I buy it again:

Absolutely, this really is a bonfire night dram if ever I cam across one. The beautiful thing about it is that it is all so subtle and delicate and silky in nature but hides some really specific characterful flavours. Excellent reminiscing whisky this one, reminds me of making treacle toffee and baking Parkin with my mother in the run up to bonfire night. The anticipation and excitement of the flames and fireworks, I can almost feel my face burning sitting too close to the bonfire to keep warm on an icy November night…

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