Amid all the rising whisky prices and the growing NAS segment, we’ve seen another trend going strong lately: independent bottlings of young whisky, from 5 year old up to 10 year old.
It shouldn’t surprise us as whisky casks prices has risen too, for both new make and aged spirit barrels. The reasoning is simple: bottle it at younger age, maybe even bottle at lower ABV and so it’s cheaper and you can extract more bottles from each cask.
Today’s Bunnahabhaim from Van Wees The Ultimate brand is a classic example of such whisky, distilled 26/06/2006, aged in cask 2127, bottled 4/6/2015 at the tender age of 8 year old (although it was 22 days far from being 9 year old) yielding 815 bottles due to 46% bottling strength.
Bunnahabhain 2006 8 Year Old The Ultimate (46%, €39.20)
Nose: It’s young alright with lots of malt notes, sweet malt, bread, cereals and barley sugar. There’s even some roughness but hey, here comes the sherry impact with mellow and sweet dried fruit, some plums, raisins, very subtle comparing to the strong maltiness and is noticeable just enough to balance it out.
Palate: Lots of sweet malt, vanilla, light sherry impact with raisins and sweet dried fruit, far-east sour dark plums spice, lots of white pepper, bread and cereals.
Finish: Medium length with warm feeling from strong peppery finish, lingering sweetness of dried fruit, red fruits and sugar.
Thoughts: Not a very complex whisky with lots of malt and just enough sherry impact to balance it. A very nice evening drink and the price is excellent. I expect those young whiskies segment will get stronger in the next few years and I don’t mind it as long as they will bottle good casks.