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Bunnahabhain is a gem of a distillery. After enjoying their core range for several years, I thought I had them pegged. Then I tried an IB, and my understanding of their house style went out the window. Likewise with the Cruach-Mhona. I've got the 6th batch of the Cruach here with me and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. But it isn’t the Bunna we know, and that’s a good thing. 50%? Heavily peated? Let’s go.
Nose: Young and pointed. This is initially reminiscent of a Port Charlotte. Light honey, rich barley, heather, peat, smoke, hay, licorice, and sponge cake.
Palate: Light mouthfeel with crystal clear flavours. Not as young as the nose suggested. Bright honey, lemon tart, licorice, peat, and rich barley.
Finish: Oak, smoke, ash, woodspice, white pepper, citrus, lemongrass, hay, cream soda, and barley. Medium-long finish. Tart, young, and pointed, but in a good way.
Thoughts: Objectively this is no masterpiece, but it is loads of fun. Strongly peated with a good abv, a bright, clean character, a nice barley influence, and a spicy kick. There’s a lot to enjoy here. Yes, it’s a young NAS whisky, but it works. The only thing worth comparing it to would be the heavily peated Bunna IB’s, of which there are several. Different from the current OB lineup. Very vibrant stuff. This is an excellent departure from the core range.
Oh, and give it some time to open up. Time is your friend here.