Bunnahabhain 1987-2014, 26yo, Sherry butt, 49.8% – Berry Brothers and Rudd

In seven days I’ll be at Bunnahabhain Distillery, or maybe I’ve just left to go have lunch somewhere. We’ve planned the tour and warehouse tasting and I’m looking forward a lot. I’ve only ever been at the distillery without doing the tour, so a trip with my mates to Islay was the perfect excuse to fix that ‘not having done the tour’ bit.

This 1987 Bunnahabhain, which is a great year for Bunnahabhain by the way, was a dram I first tried at my Blog Birthday Bash in 2014, courtesy of Teun (of Maltstock fame). Since then I’ve tried several from this vintage, and while all of them were great, I doubt any came close to this one. It’s a splendid dram and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to do a proper review of it.

A surprise Bunnahabhain. Very good, very fruity.

On the nose there’s a lot of fruit, and a lot of malt as well. Rather coastal. Sweet apples, but also some mango and peach. The malty notes come around like shortbread and butter biscuit. Lots of different scents, and even a slightly oily scent.

The palate is slightly sharper than the below 50% ABV made me expect. Dry oak, with a texture of butter or oil. Butter biscuit, shortbread, apple, peach. Some lighter notes of herbs and spices later on.

The finish is very gentle, sweet and long. The fruits and the more coastal notes (sand, some salinity) last longest. Also the buttery shortbread notes linger.

You know when you think you know a distillery’s character and in most occassions you only find some of the characteristics that makes you love that distillery in a dram? Yes? This one ticks all the boxes when I think of Bunnahabhain. Lots of malt, fruit, coastal notes. Some oak as well, but not too much. Luckily this isn’t one of those heavily peated distillates. Somehow, the ‘really good’ peated Bunnahabhains are few and far between. Somehow it just doesn’t really thrills me. But this one… Damn.


Bunnahabhain 1987-2014, 26yo, Sherry butt 2462, 49.8%, Berry Brothers and Rudd


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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