Bunnahabhain 12 years

"So far this has been my favourite Christmas dram with a winter wonderland of flavours"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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For some reason, the Bunnahabhain aged for 12 years is the whisky that I have associated most with the Holiday season up to now. Maybe because I bought it during one of the first cold days last year, or because I recall it as a whisky with gently warming, sweet, and Christmas Holiday/Glühwine-associated spices. Let’s reconsider… (Later on, we’ll conspire, as we dream by the fire, to face unafraid, the plans that we’ve made, walking in a winter wonderland)

Nose

Directly the spiced sweetness with cinnamon, nutmeg, Chili powder, and tabasco come through. Oh, that is definitely the full sherry-palate. In fact, a typical Oloroso sherry nose appears with fresh baked sweet bread, fresh coffee, coffee powder, more cinnamon, and light sweet/sour notes. But there is also Pedro Ximenez sherry such as sweet cherries, dried figs, and brown sugar. In addition, notes of caramel, toffee and raspberry sweets. Note: When my bottle was opened for some months, a sulphuric smell started to come through, which put a different balance to the profile. Not sure, if it really improved though.

Taste

Sherry! Spicy cinnamon, very dark chocolate, cacao powder, and Chili powder are all there. With a back-tone of coffee. In addition, some herbal notes with cough sirup, mint, sweet liquorice are coming through. After a while it becomes dry in the mouth, and more mellow spices come up, including cinamon, pepper, some (sweet) anise seed. No sherry boldness around here. In addition, the taste is slightly bitter and acidic. In the middle, a very light smoke appears. So there is some Islay character present after all (!), although it is quite well hidden behind the sherry. Also here, the sulphur notes alter the palate after some time, which gets a more earthy character.

Overall

Winter spices in optima forma. Although, the profile of this whisky seems to change over time from a spicy sherry Christmassy single malt to a more mellow earthy one. Is it still as good as I first thought? Well, let’s say the change is interesting. However, the Bunna 12 remains a highly recommended non-typical Islay whisky.

What others say

Whiskybase: 84.11 (1073 votes) * @Ralfy: 91/100 * @WhiskyAdvocate: 89/100 @ScotchNoob: recommended
Read for yourself

A bottle of this was purchased from !

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
55%
Sweet <-> Spicy
55%
Nose 86.5%
Taste 86%
Balance 85%
Depth 85%
Finish 87%
Score