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Distell has learned to capitalize on what made Bunnahabhain a sought after whisky by brokers and independent bottlers and has raise the profile of this long time underdog. The twelve year old is one that you often see on lists of bang for your buck malts. Despite the flood of new NAS expressions it still remains available and well received.
I had not tried this in some time but recently came into a large sample through a trade, it is from a batch prior to the recent change of livery.
Nose: Molasses, sticky toffee pudding, slight sulfur & paraffin. It's spicy with fresh ginger, cloves and a bit of cardamom. There a slight sour yeasty side but overall i'm surprised by how apparent the sherry is on the nose it's only tempered by this slightly vegetal and lemon edge.
Palate: Oily, sweet & powerful, savoury cooked spinach & sesame oil. Toasted almonds, vanilla cake batter, prunes an almost fizzy tingle.
Finish: Clay, sweetened cream, dates, salted nuts, orange peel and a touch of vermouth.
I was surprised by the depth of this one, a lot of sherry but it's tempered by the more savoury, herbal and salty touches. The weight of the spirit carries everything over well. If you can get this at a good price it's worth trying.