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Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old

Good price/quality ratio

0 675

RReview by @RikS

31st Mar 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Got this one, so thought I'd put down a few comments on it.

The nose, first sniff reveals a smack of raisins, almost sugary. I haven't checked maturation, but the sherry feels very pronounced. On a later second nosing there's some ripe banana and maybe a little bit of figs. There's some salted toffee.

The Palate is quite hot on entry with a slight burn. There's some spice, and we're in 4th gear on vanilla notes. Again with the raisins. Fairly straight forward and certainly not one of the curiously (and more interesting) shape-shifters.

The finish is short to medium. There's some dry wood bitterness in there, I'm tempted to also say matches. If the palate is more pleasant than the nose, then the finish comes last on the list.

As far as sherried drams go, there are many that I'd rather drink than this. That said, at the price point (£30 in the UK on regular offers) it's not bad so it'd be silly compare it with other sherried alternatives in the £50-90 bracket. From a pure taste experience it's a 73 for me, considering the price/quality ratio I may push that to 79. (note, looking at other reviews here, I am conscious that I'm probably quite stingy with my marks having awarded 89 to a dram that I really like a lot so statistically I may be about 5 points trailing, which I suppose is relevant to help people get an average impression so you may wanna make that 78 for taste / 84 'all things considered').

Related Bunnahabhain reviews


Hewie commented

I too found the bottle I finished (last year?) had a pretty weighty sherry influence. This often seems to be a bit understated in others reviews so I wonder if there must be quite a bit of batch variation. I found lots of lingering spice too - a very enjoyable and underrated dram.

3 years ago 0

RikS commented

@Hewie I got curious now. Their website says it's bourbon, sherry and whisky refill casks, but I couldn't find any information on how long it's been in the respective casks. Happy easter.

3 years ago 0

Hewie commented

@RikS I may be wrong, but my understanding is that the spirit is aged in each of those casks then 'blended' together to make the final product. I don't believe it is 'finished' in a sherry cask for any length of time - but I may be wrong. Anyone know for sure? Happy Easter!

3 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

@RikS Your adjusted 84 is about exactly where I would put it based on the one and only bottle I have had. I doubt if I would buy it again with so much else to choose from. I have also had one bottle of the18 which I really liked (high 80s maybe 90). Too bad it has got very expensive lately.

3 years ago 0

RikS commented

@BlueNote Yes, I realised I'm rather stingy so I tried to make myself some notes for consistency -

No thanks... Below 60: Right, I’m pouring this into the nearest flowerpot… 61 – 64: I’ll try to drink it to be polite. NO! please, I don’t want another… 65 – 69: Anyone got some soda or ice cubes to drown the taste?

Alright… 70 – 74: Ok, I can drink this but I wouldn’t buy it… 75 – 79: If this is what you have, I’ll have it and be content.

This is nice 80 – 84: This is not bad stuff. I might buy me’self a bottle. 85 – 88: Great staple, I’ll definitely try to have a bottle of this at home.

Favourites 89 – 91: Top or the favourites. Halfway down, I’ll chase the next bottle. 92 – 94: Outstanding. Running out of this would make me depressed…

Wow factor 95 – 97: This is fantastic! It’s an experience rather than a liquid… 98 – 100: Am I dreaming? This is liquid sex in a bottle!

Of course, I also recognise that 1) taste is subjective, 2) my own taste seems to be changing constantly (or, maybe 'evolving'?), 3) I have some problems with medicinal / TCP Islays so that is bound to affect my perceptions of what's 'nice' and I make no claim to objectivity nor in any way possessing an expert nose or palate.

3 years ago 0

Wierdo commented

My experience of the Bunna 12 is that it needs a good deal of time in the glass to open up. Goes from underwhelming to actually this is actually very nice in about 10 minutes or so.

3 years ago 0

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