One more Bunnahabhain review in the mini series, this time it’s a youngster, only 16 years distilled in 1999 and bottled by Cadenead in 2016. However, this is isn’t your run of the mill Bunna bottling as it was aged in two different casks over its lifespan. Originally matured in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in a sherry hogshead for almost 3 years.
Let’s check who won here, the bourbon cask or the sherry cask:
Cadenheads Bunnahabhain 16 Year Old (49.7%, €99.99)
Nose: Feels mature for its age, gentle sherry impact with sour-sweet dried fruit, a strong vanilla and cream notes, fresh fruit sweetness with classic dried fruit and berries lurking behind. There’s a constant back and forth game between the vanilla and the sherry fruitiness here. Believe me it’s not getting boring.
Palate: Sweet fruits, a dash of smoke, pepper and oak wood spices, sweet fruitiness again, vanilla, sherry impact in there with chocolate, a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Finish: Long finish with mainly sherry impact traits. Lingering dried fruit with vanilla, chocolate, spices and apples.
Thoughts: This was a very unique experience for a Bunnahabhain whisky. It kept playing geefully on the line between sherry impact and bourbon impact, dried fruits vs fruity vanilla – a war no side can lose. Shall we say it’s a win-win situation?
(Tasted at MMI club meeting)