This ancient Bunnahabhain has matured in a bourbon hogshead, contrary to a lot of its contemporaries. Properly long aging in bourbon casks can work miracles, if the cask isn’t overly active. A too active cask can make a whisky into an alcoholic vanilla drink, but if the cask is less active or a refill barrel or hogshead, magic can happen.
When a bottle also happens to be from the Malts of Scotland label, we should be set for something good. They’ve been known as one of the better bottler of recent years with most of their whisky being very good to great.
The nose has full and rich oak with lots of ripe sweet fruits. Papaya and mango. But also spices, like ginger and tea. Ancient but not over oaked, slightly buttery and very soft. After a while toffee and caramel show up.
The palate is light, but grows to be full and rich and complex quickly. Wood spices and baking spices. Spiced cake, sponge cake, barley. Not very sweet though, and less fruity than the nose.
The finish is strong and intense. Toffee, chocolate and tropical fruit. Dry, spicy and very complex. Somewhat less woody than before.
This might not be the most complex Bunnahabhain from the sixties. It might also not be the most consistent of the sixties Bunnas. It is, however, a damn awesome whisky. The thick layers of oak and spices work very well with the spirit. The oak is never too strong, and the spices are gentle.
Simply put, this is gorgeous whisky. And when it came out this stuff was around € 200. Can you imagine that in the current climate? I was very glad to taste this from a recent sample swap! Great, great whisky.
The best bit is that is really tastes old. Not too old, like it probably would’ve been after another couple of years, but very old. Like an antique shop, with lots of dust. And oak.
Bunnahabhain 1967-2010, 41.1%, Bourbon Hogshead 3315, Malts of Scotland