Bunnahabhain 1999 bottled by Cadenhead

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This is a bottling of Bunnahabhain from Cadenhead. It was aged for 16 years, the last 3 of which were in a sherry hogshead. We actually tried this at our last Malt Mongers Israel meetup which was focused on Bunnahabhain IB’s. I’ve stopped taking notes at those because I felt like it was taking up too much of the time there that should be spent enjoying good whisky with friends. Luckily I also had a part in a shared purchase of a bottle of this one so I got some notes for it.

Aged 16 years. 49.7% ABV. Finished in a sherry hogshead for 3 years. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Nose: Apricots. Lychee. Bit of malty perfume. Chemical smoke. Wood dust, not fresh like sawdust, mustier, like an old wood shop. Honey. Hints of cocoa with cinnamon. Cherry flavouring. Some rich nutty notes.

Palate: Salty toffee. Creamy porridge. Sultanas. Maple syrup. Dry maritime wood. Leather. Wood spice. Dark, juicy fruits and nutmeg right at the end.

Finish: Long. Quite thick and present. Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla. Almond oils. Sugar plums.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

This was a really lovely one, the thick, oily character of the malt was very present (thanks to those lovely, filthy stills) but there were also some really lovely wood notes and a light sherry influence. I usually prefer Bunnahabhain with a very heavy sherry character but the lightness of this one really made it a pleasant dram, really top class stuff.

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