"Not my favourite Bunna, this secret independent bottling. Very bitter smoke that dominates the nose and palate. Perhaps from a badly charred cask?"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
A secret dram from Islay, which gives us obviously many options, but rumours say this originates from Bunnahabhain. However, that gives us still multiple possibilities: is it peated or not, was it matured sherry or bourbon casks? I think we should move to the actual tasting process, I mean, what we can say more about a secret bottle? Well, it was bottled by the Lady of the Glen, created founded by Gregor Hannah in 2012 and for first time here at the tasting table.
Starting with walnut raisin bread, which quickly turns slightly dirty. Like we are eating it in an old shed. It seems to be a sherry cask, and there also seems to be some peat in this. Although it is rather unusual. Blackened crust bread, that’s the first thing to comes into my mind. The sherry influence seems to be quite modest, and I mostly get barbecued fruits (pineapple?). Even with water, it stays rather low. Whispering. There are some slightly metallic notes, but mostly it is burned peat, burned newspaper, orange skin, charred wood, rather bitter. The cask influence is surprisingly high with remarkable bitter smoke, slightly unpleasant, in fact.
The palate open with plenty of fruits (oranges, pineapple, grapes). Give us hope after the slightly disappointing nose. Followed by raisins, which are slightly burned and slightly bitter. More oranges, grapefruit, bitter lemon. A bitter finish containing mostly burned paper and wood smoke. Normally I rather like peated Bunnahabhains, but this one? I don’t know. Some more notes of plasticine, plastic (?), and iron in the finish.
Rather disappointing this secret Islay. Almost seems that they used charred the cask too much, or is it possible to over-burn the peat? Use bad peat? I have no idea. I know it didn’t work well.
Thanks for the sample
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •