Bunnahabhain 11 Years Old Discovery

Bunnahabhain 11 Years Old Discovery (43%, Gordon & MacPhail, 2018)

  • Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin:  Bunnahabhain distillery
  • Bottling: Gordon & Macphail, Discovery Range
  • ABV: 43%
  • Cost: £?


What they say

As an introduction to our portfolio, Discovery is curated to offer an utterly dependable and consistent choice of our finest single malt whiskies.

Each expression sits within the bold flavour profiles of either ‘Sherry’, ‘Smoky’, or ‘Bourbon’, making these single malts the perfect match for the whisky-lover who enjoys exploration through flavour and character.

Distilled at Bunnahbahin distillery and matured in Sherry casks for a minimum of 11 years. Bottled at 43% as part of the Discovery Range August 2018 release.

Official tasting notes:

  • Aroma: Sherry aromas mingle with orange marmalade. Dried fruit notes develop; subtle spices weave through creamy vanilla toffee.
  • Taste: Deliciously smooth and creamy; a gentle warming cinnamon spice matures into flavours of chewy dates and stewed plums with walnut undertones.
  • Finish: Smooth milk chocolate with lingering dried fruit and hints of nuts.

What I say

Celebrating 50 years of Connoisseurs Choice with Gordon & MacPhail, this sample was provided as part of the 50th celebration pack. Heralding the new Discovery Range which presents whisky matured in either Bourbon cask, Sherry cask or with the influence of peat Smoke.

This expression was distilled at Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay and spirit filled into ex-Sherry casks by Gordon & MacPahil. Matured for 11 years this has been bottled at 43% ABV.

As a sherry matured Bunna I think my expectations of this one were high before even opening the bottle!

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Copper gold / Australian Muscat (12/20), slow, medium-sized tears leave long fine legs.
  • Nose: Zesty orange marmalade and cherry blossom boot polish, toffee and old smoke/pub smell, something a little figgy and fruity stirs underneath, new cherry red leather Doc Martens. Cherries!
  • Taste: More closed than the nose, creamy highland toffee, vanilla, rum and raisin fudge, nutty, fine hazlenut puree/creamed, a cup of cooled Ovaltine and some malted milk biscuits then a subtle spice, tannin and smoke weave in and out of the palate towards the end.
  • Finish: Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut chocolate bars, or biscuit and raisin Yorkie, take your pick.


A lot more balanced – of course, classic Gordon & MacPhail’s pairing of spirit and cask. I’d have loved much more sherry influence, but this excels in its balance. A rather reminiscent nose led to initially quite closed palate, but given time it opens up to its own wonders. This is the sort of dram you could drink all night and keep finding new flavours.

Score 85/100

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