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Bunnahabhain Lombard Jewels of Scotland 25YO

Starting a Tradition

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@OnibubbaReview by @Onibubba

15th Jul 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I am sure that I am not alone in finding that I have more than a few "special occasion" whiskies in my war chest. I have decided that on my birthday, I shall open a bottle. Why not start with the first special occasion bottle I purchased? This Bunnahabhain is one of the independent bottler Lombard's Jewels of Scotland series. Distilled in a sherry butt in 1979, and bottled 25 years later in 2004. The label does not call out the condition of the butt, simply stating sherry butt. The label does indicate that this whisky is not chill filtered. Considering the lighter than expected color of this whisky, I assume that no coloring has been added. And what's up with that color BTW? I'd even mark it a few to the left of the color bar, though not a full mark. I would have expected something much darker after 25 years in a sherry cask.

I am immediately struck by how little sherry is in the nose. This is nothing like a 15 year Glendronach or 18 year Macallan. Nose is not terribly aggressive, but offers some very sweet butter-cream frosting. No fruits. No citrus. No raisins / dates. Slight peat in the background. Some alcohol if you get your nose too deep into the glass. But the biggest player is the frosting. I like to hold in and swish about the first taste for a while. Some raisin coming out now. Numbs the tongue more than the side of the mouth. Some cinnamon and bitterness which I attribute to the wood. Also, quite a bit of powdered sugar. Finishes sweet. A pleasant burn, but everything is over in a matter of seconds.

Overall, I found this to be a nice whisky, but lacking in character maybe?

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CanadianNinja commented

Very interesting. I can never get over how surprising Bunnahabhains can be! As you said, 25 years in a sherry butt and yet the sherry was a very small part of the experience. This is one reason why I always find Bunnahabhain expressions to be so intriguing, they may not always be fantastic whiskies but they always make for an interesting nosing and drinking experience ; )

7 years ago 0

Onibubba commented

I recently had a Glenlivet bottled for K&L wines from a first fill sherry butt, with remarkably similar tastes - Specifically, that cake frosting note. That really surprised me, as I thought that this one was an anomaly. Maybe this is a common note in some sherried whiskies, just not the ones I was familiar with. I suppose that my experience with sherried whiskies was not as broad as I had thought.

I am revisiting this whisky from 4 oz taster I filled upon opening the now long gone bottle back in July. Nice to get reacquainted. Mayhap I was too quick to dismiss this. It has a surprising cinnamon Altoids burn on the finish, which I quite like. Also some meatiness (char siu seasoning) on the nose I had missed before. I think I would mark this an 88 based on what I drank today.

7 years ago 0

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