Review 2017-002 «Specifics» Single malt • Bottled in 2016 • 60.1% Alcohol • Matured for undisclosed number of years in a combination of seven Oloroso sherry casks • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Bunnahabhain Distillery (owned by Distell) • Bunnhabhain • Islay • Scotland • Limited availability (unknown number of bottles) • Not available anymore (price ±€75) • Whiskybase #92516
STORY. It is Wednesday again! So new “special” whisky selected for this evening. This time it is one from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay. Peated, and cask strength put together from seven oloroso sherry casks. Well, it should be a big clash between smoke & sherry. Although Bunnahabhain is mostly known as the a-typical Islay distillery having non-peated whiskies, they do long back to the time when they did make peated Bunnahabhain. Therefore, they release limited editions which contain high amounts of peat, often called “Mòine” (Gaelic for peat).
APPEARANCE. (Red-brown • Sherry-like Sturdy and typical design, colour of the contents is red brown and is clearly sherry coloured.
NOSE. This is indeed full-in-your-face sherry and definitely oloroso casks! The smoke roars in the back together with a distant sea-influence. This screams for water. Over time the smoke becomes more apparent. (water) It is getting more complex. I find raisins, leather, some plums and figs, and more raisins. It is slightly oily, in particular olive oil, smoked raisins, smoked plum eau-de-vie, and sweet coal (what?). It is reminiscent of the penetrating smoke from smouldering coals. There is some fudge, salt, sea air, and wet pavement. The distillery character does finally come through.
TASTE. There is coal and lots of cigarette smoke. Here, the sherry is much more in the back. It is quite drinkable for such a high strength, although a good balance is missing. (water) Coal and raisins. (more water) More coal, more smoke, and lots of raisins. A drop of black oil perhaps?
VERDICT. A smokin’ sherry bomb! Bit low on complexity, although the peat smoke nicely covers the youth and balances the sherry. It becomes even more interesting when the typical Bunnahabhain notes start to come up. Personally… I would like to have seen some more years in the cask, and it is a little bit pricy, otherwise a nice uncomplicated heavy whisky.
Recommended for lovers of the clash between smoke and sherry.
Thanks to Sören for the sample!
What others say
- @Whiskybase: Mean score of 86.72 (85 votes)