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Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old

A perfect winter dram

6 3293

@jerryclydeReview by @jerryclyde

24th Mar 2017

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    93

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

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32 comments

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@jerryclyde, thank you for a very nice review. I recently traded for a bottle of Bunna 18 and look forward to cracking the seal. Yes, please, everyone drink more sherry!

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@jerryclyde, thanks for your lovely review. The only time I tasted any Bunnahabhain 18 was from @talexander's bottle in 2011. This makes me very eager to have some more.

about one year ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@jerryclyde Before Christmas, I did have the opportunity to taste that one and was charmed by it. It had, for me, maybe the best leather note I encontered in a whisky. Too bad that it sells for 200$ in my neck of the wood. Anywhere under 150$ I would jump on it. Good review and good catch!

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Robert99 This is an excellent sherried malt and an absolute bargain for an 18 year old. I see it is available from Liquor Depot in Calgary or Edmonton for $132 Can. Spot on review @jerryclyde.

about one year ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@BlueNote Being from Montreal, I am waiting for the supreme court to deliver its verdict on the Comeau case. As soon as it will be legal to order my whisky from Alberta, I will. Bunnahabhain 18 is only one of the whisky I am looking at that they have. I cross my fingers...

about one year ago 0

@jerryclyde
jerryclyde commented

Just curious. Can Canadians purchase liquor from US web site retailers? Based on what Robert 99 mentioned, there seems to be some inter-provincial purchasing restrictions in place, and just wondering if this applies internationally. At least Robert 99 can skip across the border (well, maybe not so easy any more - sorry) to New Hampshire and take advantage of a pretty good range of whiskies

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@jerryclyde, When it comes to alcohol, the international border is locked up tighter than a nun's knickers.

about one year ago 0

@jerryclyde
jerryclyde commented

Well that sucks!

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@jerryclyde, In Ontario, the "duty" on unaccompanied whisky is about three hundred per cent of purchase price...only approximately 100 % when carried across (and declared). There is a 1.14 liter exemption when out of Canada 48 hours or more, upon return.

about one year ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@paddockjudge That's why you have to take Mrs. paddockjudge along when you head south. You can bring back three 750ml bottles between the two of you and still be jut under the limit. We have done four on occasion and declared it with no problem. As long as you don't lie to them they (the border customs people) are pretty flexible.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@jerryclyde you can purchase online on us stores but the delivery address has to be in the US. Some retailers also require a US billing address online. But if you call you can order and pay by phone. That's how I got my OGD 114

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote

well, at Logan airport in Biston I could have brought back up to 3.3 L but found nothing I wanted. Maybe I should have picked up the JW Green Island Breeze in Toronto and checked it on the way back...

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@BlueNote, having the Mrs. with me would be a nice touch. My experience with Canadian Border Services is exactly as you describe it. Be upfront and transparent and the results might be positive, extremely positive.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

Cross border is a pain sometimes. Alcohol laws in Alabama are awful. It's board controlled, and shipping any alcohol to your house is illegal. What's crazy ironic is that when I was 18, I ordered my Remington 700 .308 rifle from Cabelas.com and went to my FFL dealer and picked it up. So I can order a rifle online but not whisky...bible belt...not complaining about the gun laws at all but its still ironic. Anyway i was frustrated an called the state alcohol board in Montgomery. They said that while technically illegal, likely no one would care if you shipped whisky to your house. Even if they ask, just say you didn't know it was illegal and they will probably let you keep it. My question is, why don't they change the law if it's not enforced in the first place? What's even more ironic, is that here in China, I can order any alcohol I want and have it shipped to my door in less than a week. America, home of the free huh?

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@casualtorture It's the "Land of the Free"

It's the home off the Atlanta baseball team.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@casualtorture That pretty much sums up what passes for human rights in China.

about one year ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@BlueNote i'm not sure they have that here. i guess i better be careful what i say. i may end up with a black bag over my head if i say anything negative about the wonderful CPC.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@casualtorture There is NOTHING wonderful about the Conservative Party of Canada, and you probably wouldn't get into trouble if you criticized it.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@plattvillepeat
plattvillepeat commented

Quite an enticing review/rating of the Bunnahabhain 18! So would this be a better buy at US $110 or the Amrut Intermediate Sherry at $120?

about one year ago 0

@jerryclyde
jerryclyde commented

I must admit that this is quite an informative and entertaining discussion. Can't comment on the Amrut sherry, but I am a fan of the Amrut Fusion. It is a bit ironic that living in the middle of nowhere northern Vermont (30 miles south of the Quebec border) I have orders from Whisky Exchange in London and Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburg safely delivered to my front door. These arcane liquor laws are ridiculous.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@plattvillepeat I have not had the Bunna 18 but the Amrut IS is a fantastic whisky. At $120 Canadian if I didn't have any I would buy one. Having two currently, the average price I paid being ~$100, I wouldn't buy another.

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@plattvillepeat,

you have a great cabinet. Even money - you eventually get both. I don't have the Amrut Intermediate Sherry, but I'm working on it.

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@jerryclyde,

When I get around to visiting WhistlePig Farm, I hope we'll be able to share a dram.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge I know a guy in Calgary who can source some IS....

about one year ago 0

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden commented

Great review! This is one I'll have to try!

about one year ago 0

@jerryclyde
jerryclyde commented

@paddockjudge Give me a little advance warning on the Whistle Pig Farm trip and we can definitely share a dram or three

about one year ago 0

@jerryclyde
jerryclyde commented

@paddockjudge When you decide to head over to Whistle Pig Farm, let me know and we can definitely get together for a dram or three - it's about an hour and half from here.

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@jerryclyde,

WhistlePig Farm is on my bucket list. I haven't set a date, but when I do, you will be informed well ahead of time...looking forward to it!

about one year ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@jerryclyde I never realised I was that close to Whistle Pig Farm. I will put it on my list on place to visit on a weekend.

about one year ago 0

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