Bunnahabhain is the Islay distillery mostly known for the fact it’s main production is unpeated whisky. However, they do release some peated whisky and Toitech comes to mind as prime example. And now, here comes new peated whisky from Bunnahabhain: Ceòbanach, limited edition with no age statement (according to the label) but it’s known to be a 10 yo expression.
Ceòbanach (pronounced ‘Kyaw-bin-och’) means “Smoky Mist” and the ”excuse” behind this release (besides generating more sales and eyeing the holidays shoppers wallets) was to give an impression of the original peated Bunnahabhain profile from long time ago (think of end of the 19th century/start of 20th century period)
Ceòbanach is a limited edition release, but unlike previous limited editions isn’t geared toward Travel Retail so it means we all can go and buy it if we want to. Do we? Thanks to a sample from a friend (Thanks Manny!), it’s time to answer this question.
Nose: Peat and little smoky. The peat is muted and not crisp and sharp giving it a rounded feeling. Lots of brine and salt giving it a maritime edge. further sniffing reveals some tar. quite a surprising nose as there’s no sweetness or any cask impact here.
Palate: Ohh, peat and lots of tar. Lemon and then sweet lemon honey hard candies. Toward the end there are also peppery and spicy notes.
Finish: Medium length with smoke, sweet lemon, mild oak spices and a dash of pepper.
Thoughts: All in all, a very nice peated Bunnahabhain. If you’re looking for south Islay peat levels, you’ll be disappointed as this is a light to medium peated whisky with a salty edge. Ceobanach is well priced and is available to the general public and not to travelers only so it’s a nice option for cold winter nights.