Whisky Connosr

Bunnahabhain 1997 Whisky Exchange independent bottling

Straight From the Cask

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mReview by @mattatec

10th Jul 2013


Bunnahabhain 1997 Whisky Exchange independent bottling
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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A trip to the 'whisky exchange' shop in London's Borough Market is a unique experience. In addition to the 1500 bottles on display and the friendly and knowledgeable staff is the casks.

At any one time they have 4 or 5 unique casks chosen from various distilleries. It's normal to find a grain, islay, highland, speyside and maybe a rum or brandy.

You can have a taste and then make a choice. The bottle is then filled up from a tap right in front of you. Bring the bottle back for a refill at a later date and experience a slightly different whisky due to maturation/oxcidation.

On a recent visit I chose a peated 1997 Bunnahabhain. It cost £52 for a 500ml bottle. It is a true cask strength whisky, unfiltered and untouched before bottling.

Nose - Sherry, rubber, chocolate, melon and a whiff of light smoke.

Palate - Spice and vanilla chocolate followed by honey and pear. Quite oily in the mouth and then comes the smoke. It's prominent but classy, leaving a mouthful of ash and dry oak.

Finish - Oak and a rounded dollop of sherry make a sweet but dry finish. Smoke, cream and caramel follow to wrap up a very rewarding drink.

Really powerful stuff. Somewhere between a robust highland and a pokey islay. I may just have to go back for the refill.

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