Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2021: Marsala Cask Finish 2001

Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2021: Marsala Cask Finish 2001

What they say

We’ve taken our delicious whisky and finished it in Marsala butts to create this special release for Fèis Ìle 2021.  Combining exotic aromas of cherries, liquorice and tobacco with the iconic Bunnahabhain flavours of fruit and nuts.

Our Bunnahabhain Distillery may have seen plenty of changes since we started making exceptional single malts here in 1881, but some things remain the same.  Our dedication to our craft, our determination to keep the spirit of Islay alive and the wisdom to know that special occasions deserve special single malts.

That’s why , for the 2021 Fèis Ìle, we took one of our finest whiskies and let it gently slumber in casks that once held the finest Marsala fortified wine.  The result is a sublime symphony of Sicilian flair and Scottish tradition; exotic aromas of cherries, liquorice and tobacco giving way to the sweetest rhapsody of fruit, nuts and the faintest breath of spice and comforting leather.



Toasted oak


Dried fruit, honey and Morello cherries, with hints of red grapes, walnuts, liquorice and tobacco


Sweetly dry flavours of stone fruits, red apple, vanilla, honey and cloves, with a touch of oak and roasted nuts


Dry and short, with subtle hints of tobacco, leather and spice

What I say

Celebrating Bunnahabhain day on 4th June for Feis Ile 2021. The first of two Feis Ile edition bottlings. Distilled in October 2001 and bottled at 19 Years Old, this whisky was matured for the last 4.5 years since 2016 in an ex-Marsala wine cask.

  • ABV 53.6%
  • Age 19 Years Old
  • Bottler Official
  • Bottling Feis Ile 2021
  • Cask Marsala Wine Finish
  • Category Single Malt Whisky
  • Cost £199
  • Origin Bunnahabhain Distillery
  • Outturn 1333 bottles
  • Region Islay
  • Released 2021
  • Vintage 2001

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance Old Madeira (13/20), medium tears and long, medium legs.
  • Nose Spiced and fruity, Morello cherries and tobacco leaf, stone fruits, cherry, raspberry, almost elderberry tartness and acidity, kirsch, toffee, caramel, Black Forest Gateaux then floral elderflower and daffodil.
  • Taste Full-bodied, rich and fruity, gentle clove spice and freshly grated nutmeg, rich caramel, heather honey, blackcurrant cordial, black forest gateaux, black cherry, toasted oak, tobacco leaf and leather, stewed prunes, dried oak wood, vanilla, roast chestnut, spiced treacle toffee and Parkin cake, with water Werther’s originals butter caramel.
  • Finish Long, toffee spiced, Parkin and gingerbread.
  • Overall At cask strength this is rich but a touch on the spicy side for me, with water this mellows into more buttery caramel. A great example of Bunnahabhain’s fruity distillate pairing well with Marsala wine finishing.

Score 87/100

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