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Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old

Meet The Bunnahabhains

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@OJKReview by @OJK

12th Nov 2010


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:

Nose: A beautifully soft, almost bourbon quality to the nose. It seems like an illicit lovechild between Kentucky and Islay, with the best of both genes coming through. On one side we have the deep liquorice, melted brown sugar and sweet leather, and on the other we have delicate seaweed, banana and brine. These two spheres are then joined together by a layer of salty green apples and vanilla cream, all completing a truly exceptional nose. 2.5

Taste: If on the nose though we had the illicit lovechild, here we are very much in the hands of the Sherry patriarch, imparting hiss raisin and brown sugar characteristics on the household, while underneath we are supported by the Oak matriarch, with her offerings of toasted nuts and soft pepper-spice, all of which has been discreetly integrated into the family after its 18 years in the barrel. 2.5

Finish: Sugared guacamole and candied prunes coat the palate as the finish kicks off, before some herbal medicinal notes remind us (in case we had forgotten) that we are in fact drinking an islay dram. As the Bunnahabhain family flavours slowly mingle out, picking up the rear are the slightly frail and muted grandpa damp wood and grandma bitter peppermint. 1.5

Balance: An intruiging dram, a household very much different to its Islay neighbours. There's a bit more colourful dysfunction than the other slightly tougher Islay families, a dysfunction which has both its charms as well its rough edges, yet ultimately it is a household of many stories and characters, some of whom you'll like and some of which you won't. The Sherry patriarch is very much a character to be admired, and although his bourbon-like lovechild may have slightly compromised the family's traditional Islay name, there's nothing to say the household isn't a more interesting place for it. 2.0

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fhertz commented

"grandpa damp wood" — ha! fantastic review.

12 years ago 0

Wills commented

Hi OJK Just wrote my review of this 18yo and I am completely with you. I liked the whisky before the finish. But this bitter-sour taste, like you described it very well 'herbal medicinal' downgraded this whisky maybe 10 points.

11 years ago 0

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