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This is my second peated Bunnahabhain, the first one being Young & Feisty by Douglas Laing, which I quite liked but perhaps was a bit too much on the young side.
Toiteach is better in all regards. The price in Norway (which at one point was lower than the UK, not sure if it still is) makes it a natural comparison to Laphroaig's Quarter Cask. I will not do a comparative review, but I'll say right now that if I did, QC would come out on top by only a small amount.
Nose: I'm immediately met with a warm, welcoming fruity sweetness, akin to sherry notes. After a few minutes in the glass, smoke and salt is making its way into the mix. I'll admit there are fusel alcohol notes to be found in the nose, implying a young age, but they are in no way unpleasant or dominant. After a while, I also found pleasant notes of leather.
I don't think I've ever had a glass of Toiteach and thought to myself "yep, same as last time". I'll admit my nose have been a bit off at times, but not every time. To me, this makes Toiteach interesting, while some might describe this as unbalanced, I'd rather call it enjoyable.
Taste: Sherry sweetness, a faint taste of chocolate. Pepper and smoke.
Finish: A delicious sweetness balanced against smoke, pepper and unripe plums.
With a splash of water, the sherry influence is more easily recognized, but without the whisky in any way being too sweet. I found the smoke and peppery notes to be somewhat more powerful, and more pleasant.
Comment: Balanced? Perhaps not, but not in a way that to me made this unpleasant in any way. I think Bunnahabhain certainly has proved they can make solid peated whisky.
Bunnahabhain is quickly becoming a favorite.