[Review] Bunnahabhain - 12 years 46.3%

Bunnahabhain is a distillery I came across whist pursuing my Islay investigation. It isn't amongst the first bottles of single malt I bought as it never came up on my "peat radar". Of course, the distillery is found on Islay, but the Bunnahabhain taste is far away from the peat-monsters from the South. 
I remember calling in at the Whisky shop Manchester last year and talking to the people there about Islay distilleries and other higher-than-average ppm producers before mentioning my desire to expand the range of flavours I was exposing my palate to. Bunnahabhain is one of the first names which came up in the conversation. I had read about their whisky but never tried it. The guys at the shop didn't have the standard 12 -which they recommended I tried- but they treated me to a small dram of the 25 year old... and boy what a treat! A lot of dried fruit richness, sweet raisins and spices. Incredible! I thought I definitely had to try the 12, which I found a few days later. The !2 year old isn't as rich as the 25 of course, but it is still an amazing dram for the price. It is the first bottle I have purchased twice and I will definitely keep it as a permanent in my whisky cabinet!


The 12 year-old Bunnahabhain has a rich golden colour, and since the summer 2010 is presented non-chilled filtered, with no added colouring and at 46.3% ABV.

Nose: The first time I poured a dram and nosed it, Christmas cake sprung to my mind. I still get treacle, demerara sugar, some almond, prunes, raisins and some spices

Palate: Very creamy, still treacle and rich dried fruit but also some vanilla and a hint of salt

Finish: A warm, sweet and spicy finish. Fantastic!

With water: Sweeter and fresher on the nose, I lose some spice to gain more glacé cherry and candied orange peal. The palate is very sweet too with treacle and malty notes. I don't really find the salt anymore, but still a sweet finish with more malt and cherry, and even some citrus. 

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