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
Cost: £175 from Robert Graham
What they say:
Age: 25 year old
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.
Amber gold (6/20), medium tears and medium legs
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?
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
Medium-long, baked toffee sponge puddings and treacle toffee
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!
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