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Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old

Bran -a-havin'

0 678

@vanPeltReview by @vanPelt

17th May 2013

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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
    78

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

(First vapor: Leather fades right away.) Nose: A distinct smell of whole-grain wheat bread: Bran. A few minutes of breathing turns this sweeter, with vanilla and caramel. Cashews-- and then a faint ocean spray-- keep it serious and bring depth. Wisps of orange rind may tickle the nose. Overall impression is of salty caramel on bran.

Palate: First a surprise splash of sourness. It lasts long, like recovering from an accidental intake of seawater.... But lying behind this arrive some sweet over-toasted nuts. As in the nose, their sweetness (from vanilla/brown sugar) is tempered by some saltiness and bran.

Finish: Oaky pepper crescendos while nuts fade out. Liquorice arrives at the back of the tongue, and then an impression of cinnamon.... then gone.

The contrasts of sweet and savory make an intriguing nose, and the bread scent is unique. Unfortunately, the sour entrance doesn't dissipate fast enough, leaving too little time to appreciate these elements developing in the palate.

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6 comments

indynoir commented

I think Salty Caramel is a nice way to describe this whisky, but it's interesting how after all that rich and sweetness it finishes dry, herbal, tea like. I really love this one, but this one definitely needs to sit for 10-15 minutes before I'll touch it...without the time it can really be lacking.

7 years ago 0

@Pizaro
Pizaro commented

I completely agree with indynoir's comments and I was surprised to see your mention of whole grain wheat bread - I took notes on this one last night and wrote down that very same descriptor, which I thought was unusual. I don't get the sourness, but I do get the drying aspects that probably come from the Spanish oak sherry casks - I love the sweet and dry combination. One of my very top whiskies that isn't a Glenfarclas!

7 years ago 0

@vanPelt
vanPelt commented

Thanks @indynoir and @Pizaro, I always appreciate feedback. @indynoir: I think I understand the "tea" you mention; maybe it is what I described as liquorice/cinnamon? @Pizaro: Glad you concur about the bread, which is striking. About the sourness, I feel I am more sensitive to the entrance in this regard; but I also suspect that some decent time for oxidation could alleviate this, as indynoir hints.

7 years ago 0

@vrudy6
vrudy6 commented

@vanpelt: Have you tried the upgraded bottling at 46.3% abv? If you did, how does it compare to the 43%?

4 years ago 0

@vanPelt
vanPelt commented

Seems that my response disappeared! OK... I ordered a sample just to answer your question. I think that I like that 46.3% better than what I tasted previously, but it could just be that my tastes have changed after nearly 4 years. By memory, I found the "new" one less sour and less bitter. Here are my notes from 1 sitting:

Nose: Green-grapey sherry, significant chalkiness. Some salt spray, hint of lemon pith and steamed wheat grain.

Palate: Salty oil and Juicy white wine, with dry yeasty wheat. Chalky again, and charred as well.

Finish: Chalky and rounded taste of aged oak, slightly biley lemon pith but not too bad, instead compensated by white wine tones that eventually dry.

I rate it 85, find it very similar but a step up from the 12yo. I think Laphroaig's An Cuan Mor is very similar.

4 years ago 0

@vrudy6
vrudy6 commented

You are right, 4 whisky years is a lot. Similar to "dog" years. Palates do change. A nice bump in score of the old with the new more crafted rendition. Awesome of you to do a little review once more just to answer my question. Greatly appreciated, brother!

4 years ago 0

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