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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?