Today under the microscope is the latest official release from Bunnahabhain distillery. Bunnahabhain Stiuireadair is a No-Age-Statement whisky but is also a fully sherried whisky in 1st and 2nd fill Sherry casks although I assume it’s mostly 2nd fill casks. The reason it was born was to replace the staple 12 year old in some markets and to live side-by-side in other markets. All towards the goal of preserving the precious aged stocks despite the rising demand for single malt whisky.
Does it work? Can it truly replace the 12 yo as a daily sipper and help preserve the aged stock?
Nose: Malty, nice touch of sweet red fruit, there’s the Bunnahabhain heaviness and oiliness, After a while, more dried fruit, raspberries and strawberry and also getting them in the fresh form. Gentle dark chocolate and caramel.
Palate: Malt and oak spices, cereals porridge, bitter espresso and dark chocolate, prunes, sweet dried fruit towards the end but overall much less noticeable sherry impact on the palate.
Finish: Medium length, malty, lingering bittersweet coffee, chocolate and gentle oak spices.
Thoughts: All in all, I think that the Stiùireadair successfully does what it created to do. It’s a gentle young sherried Bunnahabhain (my guess? a mix of 7-10 year old casks) that can and does shoulder part of the heavy demand for a Bunnahabhain daily sipper. And the price is reasonable (especially in Europe). Personally I’ll still pick up the 12 yo over this one, but in the broader picture and long term goals of Bunnahabhain, it’s a ‘mission accomplished’ whisky.