In 2014 during the Blog Birthday Bash, Teun was kind enough to bring a bottle of 1987 Bunnahabhain. That was one of the more popular drams of the evening and my first encounter with what turns out to be a great vintage for the Islay distillery.
So, based on that I bought a large share of the bottle together with Ben (as in, we split one). After that happened I got the chance to buy a bottle of The Whisky Agency’s take on a 1987 Bunna. Again, I split the bottle with Ben.
I’ve been sipping from it for a couple of months now and it’s nearing its end and has been moved to the kill shelf. However, I found that I had not reviewed it yet. So here’s that.
Old grains and quite some oak hit first. Slightly yeasty and dry apple and leather. Lots of aromas coming at you with old oak, slightly green, salt. There’s also that ‘old’ scent that you get after a few decades in oak. I find it hard to describe, but that ties it all together here and makes it pretty awesome.
The palate is sharp, but rich. Vanilla, apple, oak. Some light salinity and old leather. Quite typical. Rich and a light hint of banana after a while.
The finish is long and quite sharp at first. Oak, sand, salt and leather. Old apple too, the slightly dried and corky kind.
While it is, from memory, not as expressive and kick-ass as the Berry Brothers & Rudd version of the whisky, it still is a damn fine dram. It’s hard to pin down the ‘old’ flavor to any specific flavor, since I think it’s a mix of oak, spices, dried fruits, all which makes for a recognizable, but hard to describe flavor.
This would easily score high in any tasting in which you can take your time a bit for the dram. That’s the only bad thing I can think of for the Bunnahabhain, it needs some attention to shine. If I just sit on the couch watching the tube and sipping away a random dram, this would not stand out as much as it would otherwise. So, if you have the option to try this, please do, but not at a festival or so. Take a sample home and do it there. It deserves it, and it’s rewarding.
Bunnahabhain 1987-2015, 28yo, Refill Hogshead, Circus series, 55% – The Whisky Agency & The Nectar. Available at WhiskyAntique in Italy for some 250 euros.