I don’t have a lot of formal experience with Bunnahabhain. I just reviewed another Bunnahabhain and so I thought this would be a good time to review something from the same distillery, so that I could get a better idea of the house style. This is my first review of an official bottling, and my third overall. I have @Fiddich1980 to thank for this sample, which he gave me a year and a half ago! Sorry to wait so long to try it.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Sweet, soft, sherried nose. There is a freshness to it. Dark fruits. Cherries. Baking spices. white grape juice. A little underpowered but flawless. Water seemed to mute the nose. Same smells but it’s as if the volume was simply turned down. (20/25)
First sip is sweet and a bit spirity. There is an off, slightly solventy note. It is very fruity but it moves from the arrival through to the finish very quickly. There is a peppery note in the development. Overall a little thin in the mouthfeel. Water seems to tone down the bitterness in the development. (21.5/25)
slightly bitter, pepper, long finish. Water brings out the pepper over the bitter. (21/25)
The nose promises more than the palate delivers. The bitterness is a bit overpowering of the other flavours.
Score: Neat - 84.5/100 With Water: 83.5/100
Not a bad whisky. A little underpowered, and slightly on the bitter side, though that might be a good thing for some. I’m very glad, @fiddich1980, to have been given the chance to try it, and I look forward to revisiting the rest of the sample.
An excellent review @Nozinan.
Though I don’t need to tell you that my overall score for this whisky is substantially higher than yours.... ; )
Once again, I’m not surprised at all by the loss in marks when water is added. This, and many other Bunnahabhain expressions, are not as overpowering initially as many other Islays and thus do not benefit from the addition of water IMO.
I think that is an extremely accurate statement regarding this whisky and many other Bunnahabhain expressions @OdysseusUnbound.
While I enjoy them even after the first glass, I find my overall assessment of their whiskies and particularly the 18, have greatly improved by the time I finish the bottle.