"Beautiful lightly sherried and fruity and muddy Bunna albeit slightly hampered by the alcoholic kick"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
Signatory Vintage belongs to a select group of long-standing quality-rich independent bottling companies that put its mark on the development of single malt whisky. Founded in 1988 by Andrew Symington, who selected his first single cask in 1968. Their ranges include the “Un-chill Filtered Collection”, one of the most decent prices independent ranges, and the “Cask Strength Collection”, to which today’s whisky belongs. The iconic bottles breathe quality and (in my experience) often put both spirit and cask equally to the front. Bunnahabhain is one of the distilleries that has become very popular with independent bottlers. A distillery, which I believe has expanded its versatility in recent years. We know they can do very decent sherry-cask maturation (12 & 18-year-old OBs), produced excellent bourbon cask maturated whisky (independently bottled end 80s-beginning 90s), but recently they have also shown their capability of producing heavy peaters. I remember even tasting a Campbeltown oily style bottling earlier.
Raw barley and a slight sweetness, those are the first two main components. Then oranges, cacao beans, something vegetal, a hint of ash and mud. Pretty spirit-y. I also get more and more fresh nectarines, some salt and chestnut compote. With a tea spoon of water, more fudge and burned wood. After some breathing more cakes, golden raisins and peaches. It is getting really nice over time. A tiny bit of orange chocolate.
Powerful with again barley, ashes and autumn leaves. The alcohol gets a bit in the away at start. A hint of orange scrapings, lemon zest and sand. The a slightly yeasty and muddy taste with fruit skins, putty and diluted fresh cow milk. Water brings out more wood influence, oranges and brown sugar. It now becomes really fruity and much more salty. Wonderful, the magic of a few drops of water! Also here golden raisins, cake and peaches come up. Accompanied by more yellow fruits, breads, something yeasty. The aftertaste is considerable with leather, bread crust, golden raisins, coal and samphire. Still going pretty strong on the alcohol.
A decent example of a lightly sherried Bunna, which is slightly hampered by the high alcohol percentage. Even with a tea spoon or two of water, it was difficult to tame the alcoholic kick. A shame, since the fruits behind that were really beautiful. I feel it needed just a bit of balance by mixing with another cask (or two). Anyway, that is always the case with single cask bottlings, they represent a personal style. Of the cask and for the person drinking it.
This sample was part of organised by Whisky4all!
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •