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I really love well made sherried malts. Unfortunately, they are becoming more and more a rare breed. The reason is pretty clear: there has been a drastic decline in the number of sherry drinkers - fewer drinkers means less production which in turn means less casks available for malt distilleries to use to age their spirits. I remember when I lived in Wales in the 1980s there were dozens of brands available in pubs and groceries and sherry was the drink offered at most social gatherings. I was back in London in November and was shocked to discover that the only sherry available at most pubs (if any were available at all) was Harvey's ("a drink for the ladies", I was told).
Which is the long way around to this review. I had read some good reviews of the Bunna 18 emphasizing its sherry influence, so when I had a chance to pick a bottle up I jumped at the chance. It is well worth the $110 price tag. This is one of those dark and brooding malts, the kind to drink before a fire on a winter's night. For someone living in the middle of nowhere northern Vermont, it doesn't get a whole lot better than this. Simply put, this is a beautiful dram. By the way, drink more sherry!!!
Color: An absolutely beautiful dark chestnut - "natural colour"
Nose: Sherry soaked fruitcake with burnt raisins, nuts and dark fruit. True to its provenance there is a subtle maritime character. This is a nose with which I can spend an hour.
Palate: Medium body with an olorosa center. The barley tries its best to keep up but the sherry wins out. Stewed fruit (prunes, rhubarb) fruitcake, and Vermont dark maple syrup. The oak makes an appearance and spices begin to buzz. A tad salty.
Finish: Very long with the sherry still holding court. The oak still hangs around but does not overdo things. Spices continue to buzz.