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Recently a friend of mine, his father-in-law and I had a tasting session. We actually went through 13 drams in one sitting. A long but very good night! The whiskies we went through in order were Bushmills Black Bush, Macphail's Collection Bunnahabhain 1990 (bottled in 2006), Bruichladdich 10 year old (bottled in 1979), Ardbeg Blasda, Port Ellen 25 year old (distilled 1980 bottled 2006), Bowmore 1956 (distilled in 1956, bottled in 1983), Glenfiddich 15 year old, Gordon and MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Ardbeg 13 year old (distilled in 1972), Ardbeg 10 year old, Ardbeg Lord of the Isles, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Gordon and MacPhail Caol Ila 16 year old (distilled in 1969) and the Ardbeg Supernove. Over the next few days I will be writing up my notes. I won't be re-reviewing those malts I've already reviewed, but there are plenty of new ones.
Second of the night, was the Bunnahabhain. While I enjoyed the Bushmills, I've never having tried anything from this distillery before, so I was looking forward to getting into the more serious (and new to my palate) single malts!
The nose was really subtle. Initially I was just getting a fruity sweetness. After several sniffs I started to be able to break it down into butter, sultanas and a little honey. There was a slight savoury note that I think was just a hint of malt, but it was hard to put my finger on. Pleasant but not exactly world shaking.
The taste was still gentle and light. It had much the same makeup as the nose with a bit of wispy background peat smoke and just a hint of spice towards the end. Again, mild and unassuming.
The finish was a little short, lasting only a minute or so, with an initial vanilla note fading into gentle peat, smoke and just a hint of citrous.
I was just a little disappointed with my first serious whisky. It was nice, but just a little unfulfilling. It was pleasant and easy to drink, but you can get that from a dram at less than half the price. Unlike the Bushmills, which carried no expectations, and therefore exceeded them, I was left a little disappointed by this.