Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain 25 Years Old 1989 Treasurer’s Selection ~ 47% (Robert Graham)

Whisky Review: Bunnahabhain 25 Years Old 1989 Treasurer’s Selection

Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Bunnahabhain Distillery

Bottling: Robert Graham; Treasurer’s Selection

ABV: 47%

Cost: £175 from Robert Graham

bunnahabhain-25-year-old-1989-treasurers-selection-robert-graham

What they say:

Region: Islay
Age: 25 year old
Distilled: 1989
Bottled: October 2014
Cask number: 5802
Limited to 228 bottles
UnChill-Filtered Treasurer Selection

From our “Treasurer’s Selection” of single cask, cask-strength malts.
An enigma of a malt. Most Bunnahabhain expressions are unpeated, and on the nose you would be forgiven for expecting this one to be the same: there is hardly a trace of smoke to be found, just creaking old oak and heavy cellar mould. True, there is the unmistakable waxy scent of a Barbour jacket left beside the fire, of cold ashes left in the hearth…but nothing to suggest the sudden arrival of thick, earthy peat that appears out of nowhere on the palate. It weighs heavy on your tongue with dark chocolate orange, ancient oloroso, and a slight sea salt tang; but give it time and fresh wild flowers will begin to emerge, alongside juicy apricot, in the background. That ghostly smoke thins to a whiff on the finish, as the oak takes over once again.

What I say:

Sampled on 21st May 2016 (aka World Whisky Day) as part of the Celebration of whisky a small gathering of Whiskyphiles converged upon Robert Graham’s Cannongait store in Edinburgh for a wee session. We started out with this grand dame of a whisky from their Treasurer’s Selection, a Bunnahabhain aged for 25 years.

Colour:

Amber gold (6/20), medium tears and medium legs

Nose:

On the nose, creamy Highland toffee and a little light herbal menthol/mint combined to give the impression of Murray Mint candies, some cereal malted barley, gristy, dry and dusty/musty dunnage warehouses, perhaps a hint of fruity cherry?

Taste:

Quite light and subtle initially on the palate, some tannic oak wood belies the age and some juicy stone fruits peach/apricot precede a weight of treacle sponge cake or pudding and sticky toffee pudding, salt caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, and a wisp of smoke

Finish:

Medium-long, baked toffee sponge puddings and treacle toffee

Overall:

Incredibly smooth and luxurious this makes a great sipping whisky, well worth spending time with to reveal its true nature, packed full of smooth & creamy Highland toffee. Another high-scoring old Bunnahabhain whisky – I must particularly like this style!

Score: 90/100

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