This year, Distill collection contained 3 Bunnahabhain releases and for the first time in a few years none of the special releases is peated.
The first one we check out is a 11 Year Old Bunnahabhain from 2007 that was finished in French Brandy casks before being bottled at 52.5%
Can it live up to the expectations of previous years releases?
Nose: Somewhat dry and quite oily, A very airy feeling like we’re sniffing it from afar time does the trick and the it’s getting stronger and bolder: grapes, a bit of smokiness (and no, it’s not a Moine release), sultanas, sweet honey, pears and peaches, beeswax. After a few more minutes, soft and gentle peat, nuts and honeyed grapes. Fruit blossoms perfume.
Palate: Just like the nose: grapes and sultanas, a bit of smoke, honey and fruitiness but also white pepper and a bit more peat, dry ashes, honeyed pears and peaches. Slightly bitter almonds and oak spices.
Finish: Medium length, gentle earthiness, pears, gentle spice, honey, tingling sweet and oak spice.
Thoughts: Solid and good whisky from Bunnahabhain. But at the same time perhaps a bit disappointing after the fantastic offerings from previous years. Maybe It’s just a matter of a bit too high expectations or that those brandy casks needs peated spirit? The Deanston in Brandy casks is a similar case which the whisky was good but not as good as the Bordeaux release. The bottom line is that it’s a good Bunnahabhain with terrific brandy impact of grapes and sultanas, just that it’s not a breathtaking offering.