Bunnahabhain is a part of these protean distilleries of which a well-sketched depiction is difficult to make. Will this single cask from the 80’s show its most insular facet ?
Nose : We perceive a note between the earth and the seaweed. There is a nice mineral side with walnut, milk coffee, orange and peanut. It’s now the turn of varnish, cinnamon, crème-brûlée with this caramel bitterness, pronounced but not invasive. It goes on with brown sugar, a noteworthy hint of sulfur with a starched note. There are fruits but is covered by the mentioned aromas. You must wait to gain freshness (menthol) with a bit of milk chocolate cream. It’s pleasant enough and the fruitiness is more developed (oxidized apples). The water accentuates the fresh aspect while leaving more space to the distillate. Unfortunately, the green wood and the dry spices are also in.
Mouth : We’ve got a bit of honey, fresh orange, walnut, caramel. Very quickly, we go to spices giving an immediate dryness. We’ve got no astringency but it remains unbalanced . The black pepper, the cardamom and the cinnamon gather around apples. The water gives it a more spicy impact with a burnt woodiness which squeezes a bit the menthol. This is certainly dubious despite not being aggressive on tongue.
Finish : it’s medium, tasting the spices with a decent persistence. We find the burnt wood, the menthol and the caramelized apples back on the whole aftertaste through.