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Bunnahabhain XXV 25 Year OId Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 46.3%
A regular heavy hitter in the awards department (WWA Category Winner 2017, San Fran Double Gold 2016), this non chill filtered version of the 25-year-old was launched in 2010 and initially ran to just 400 bottles. Upping the ABV from to 46.3% has made a great whisky even better, and it's now positioned as the ‘super-premium’ member of the core range. Suitably the presentation is special - it comes in an Alder wooden box lined with hessian, finished with solid brass fittings (however, that's soon to be superseded by new packaging). This is lightly peated compared to most Islays, with the Sherry input and extended maturation further softening the smokey notes.
Tasting note: Deep gold / polished brass colour. Plenty of oak influence in the estery opening sniffs, with the aroma deepening to stewed pear / apple pie and vanilla. The accent shifts towards light ginger before the final pass after over five minutes in the glass releases surprising notes of Turkish Delight. Medium dry delivery with the lively spirit gently nipping the tongue; mid palate is delicately peppery with a grainy / oatmeal-like edge and an oily finish. Outstanding length. Demonstrates serious staying power as light cocoa and oatmeal biscuit flavours carry into the aftertaste. Ageing slowly, one senses this could easily go another decade. Non chill filtered. 46.3% Alc./Vol.
Other reviews... No major blemishes here at all. Carefully chosen sherry butts of the highest quality (well, except maybe one) and a malt with enough character to still get its personality across after 25 years. Who could ask for more? 94 points. - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2018
...Aka XXV. I really liked a version that was bottled around 2009 (WF 87). Colour: amber. Nose: starts a little strange, kind of ‘cheesy’ and winey at the same time. Isn’t there more sherry than in earlier versions? Or is this one from fresher casks? Goes on with a lot of chocolate, bags or heavily roasted malt and, maybe a little too much struck matches. Yes, sulphur. Also blackcurrant buds. Was this baby ‘finished’? Very unlikely but you never know… Mouth: same feeling but this is rounder and fruitier. Again, the wine is loud and Bunnahabhain’s usual honeyed and delicately raisiny style doesn’t really shine through. Having said that, it’s very pleasant and gets maltier by the minute, before our beloved ‘Bunny’ starts to come out indeed. Quite some orange marmalade, honey, sultanas… And a nice saltiness. Finish: not very long but clean and (even) more on dried fruits, sweet, the ‘winey’ wine influence having become much more discreet as such. A little salt again in the aftertaste. Comments: I was not fond of the nose but the palate is pretty impeccable. Enough so to warrant 85 points in my little book. 85 points- Serge Valentin, www.whiskyfun.com
The Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay is probably the most isolated, yet also one the most grand and attractive buildings of its kind on the island. Water is piped down from streams on the Margdale Hills and is considered less peaty than most on Islay. The operation remains firmly set in tradition although the company now imports its own raw materials. The labelling is reminiscent of Bunnahabhain's coastal setting, and utilises words and imagery from the ballad 'Westering Home' (to Islay.) The poetry is more romantic than the reality - there have been 250 recorded wrecks around the coast of Islay including that of a large trawler which has lain nearby the Bunnahabhain distillery for over twenty years! Nevertheless, the charm of the label remains undiminished.