Right off the bat I could tell that this was a weird one. I was picking up some very strange notes and even after sitting on it a bit I wasn’t sure if it was a very young sherry matured whisky with some PX in the picture, or something matured in a red wine cask. I went with the red wine cask, but sadly no points are allocated for guessing the cask type, or the parent company, because I went with an 8-year-old wine cask matured Bunnahabhain, incidentally owned by the same company that owns Deanston. At least I got some age points.
Initial impressions: Bubbles but not very oily looking. Darkish colour, smells of cardboard, oak and figs, very odd.
Guess: Bunnahabhain 2007 Wine Cask by Malts of Scotland
Aged 8 years. 57.8% ABV. Matured in a red wine cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and hand bottled at cask strength from a single cask.
Nose: Oak. Cardboard. Fig jam. Musty bookshelves. Dunnage. Prunes. Molasses. Chalk. Clay. Wine tannin. Red wine spice.
Palate: Heavy red wine spice and red fruits. Very think. Juicy plums. Oak. Acacia sap.
Finish: Long. Bitter wood. Red fruits. Woodspice. Figs. Orange peel.
Would I buy this: No
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was one of the stranger whiskies I’ve tried. It was interesting to drink though, especially (and infuriatingly) in the context of a blind tasting competition, quite an active dram and probably a bit too much on the aggressive side for some.