Bunnahabhain Rubha A' Mhail
Bunnahabhain Rubha A' Mhail, 11 YO, 57,4 %
At the Islay whisky festival (Feis Ile) this year, Bunnahabhain released two limited expressions. One of them was the Bunnahabhain Rubha A' Mhail.
This is what the distillery itself says about this bottling:
Bunnahabhain Rubha A’ Mhail (pronounced ‘rooaval’) takes its name from a modern day Helmsman’s tale. In October 1974, finding no berth in Oban, the Wyre Majestic and her sister ship, the Defence, attempted to steam to Fleetwood, north of Blackpool. Along the journey, the trawler strayed off course and hit the rocks at Rubha A’ Mhail. For 11 long days, the skipper stayed aboard attempting to free the vessel, but the Majestic sits stricken on the rocks at Bunnahabhain to this day.
This release was limited to 1200 bottles. It was matured exclusively in Manzanilla sherry butts for 11 years.
Rubha A' Mhail or Rhuvaal is also well-known for its lighthouse (read more here).
You can actually still pick up a bottle of the Bunnahabhain Rubha A' Mhail online, for instance at Nickolls and Perks at GBP 150.
Nose (23/25): Grapes and dried fruits. Light and rich at the same time. Sweet and very well-balanced. Chocolate and lightly salted peanuts. This is a dram you can bury your nose in.
Taste (22/25): Rich, dried fruits soaked in honey. Sherry sweetness that is tending towards dry.
Finish (22/25): Medium long finish. Honey and fruits. Massive nuttiness towards the end here, and it certainly has the typical Bunnahabhain brininess.
Balance (22/25): Another stunner from Bunnahabhain, a distillery I hold in very high esteem.
Image from Nickolls and Perks.
Sláinte! - Thomas