Review by FWL Managaing Editor Caroline Dewar:
Even after many years in this industry, I still get the impression that Bunnahabhain is underrated, being somewhat overshadowed by its peatier neighbors on Islay. It’s so wrong to compare them and the whisky itself has a much sunnier nature than the largely gray and rather brooding distillery where it’s made.
Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old is a quietly satisfying, even thrilling, dram, unchill-filtered with no additional color and bottled at 46.3% abv. I have tasted it before but I’m using their notes as my own current collection runs only as far as their 18 Year Old and they tell us this:
Color: Amber gold
Nose: Quite a sherried nose initially, that goes on to introduce a stunning sweet caramel dessert aroma, beautifully entwined with subtle suggestions of oak and polished leather.
Palate: The indulgence of sweet berries and cream ensures a wonderful mélange of tastes that progress into a roasted nut and malt feast.
Finish: The finish is soft and dry with a delicate dispersal of sugar and spiced oak flavors lingering on the tongue.
Nuttiness and fruit are always characteristics to think of in relation to this single malt. Owned by Burn Stewart Distillers, which is in turn owned by South African company, Distell, I always find Bunnahabhain a delightfully versatile malt on the food pairing front - yes, even with a 25 Year Old. Don’t be scared! I’ve used various expressions of it over the years to drink alongside canapés, soups, game birds, meat main courses and desserts. Of course, the Bunna 25 is a rare treat to be savored by itself but do think outside the box.