It’s been a while since I reviewed a random SMWS sample, but this one came up in a grab from my sample box, and I should get through them eventually.
Does that indicate that I didn’t really feel like reviewing this? Maybe. I didn’t have anything against it either. Also, I only had a tiny bit of information from the label (the number indicating the distillery), so I went at it rather blind. No age, no ABV, no cask type or anything given.
Bunnahabhain is a bit of a mixed bag nowadays. I really like the old ones where they went for the more mellow style of Islay whiskies and I, generally, am not a huge fan of all the heavily peated stuff that comes out.
The nose is very light and malty. Young and a bit salty. It’s really sharp with a tiny bit of sweetness. Some tangerine, lemon. Lots of malt, in the shortbread kind of way.
The palate is tingling and sharp. Some oak, a lot of malt and that citrus note is back again too. Some lychee and a bit more sweetness than on the nose. Slightly salty again but with lots and lots of alcohol.
The finish is quite different with flint and even a bit of an asphalt flavor. Malty and sweet with some light fruits.
I wasn’t thrilled with this one. It lacks depth and every bit of complexity. With so much alcohol going on (which you don’t need on the label to figure out) it’s hard to find anything except malt. Mind, I don’t have anything against malty whiskies, but this one shows just that.
After finding out it’s a young and strong one it makes sense. Six and a bit years is just not enough (normally, I know there are exceptions) to pick up a lot of depth and interestingness.
I think it’s a shame that this is getting more and more regular nowadays. I see a lot of bottlers out there releasing really young whiskies of which you can see they didn’t pick up much from the cask. The color, as with this one, is almost like water. On the nose you get mostly alcohol and the malty sweetness of spirit.
Technically nothing is wrong with this dram, but I’m glad I didn’t pick up a bottle of it.
Bunnahabhain 6yo, 2007-2014, 61.4%, Refill bourbon hogshead, SMWS (10.77, Beware of the Monster)