Bunnahabhain 12 YO, 46,3 %
I cannot believe I have not reviewed this classic Bunnahabhain whisky before. Well, time to remedy that. Bunnahabhain is one of the eight (soon to be nine or possibly ten) whisky distilleries on the island of Islay. Islay whisky is predominantly known for being peaty and heavy. Not so for Bunnahabhain. They mainly produce and sell unpeated whisky that is light, fruity and nutty in character. They have the tallest stills of the distilleries on Islay, which does in large part explain this character.
The Bunnahabhain 12 YO is matured in a mix of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks. About 20 % of the whisky produced at Bunnahabhain is used for their own single malt products, and this whisky is all matured on the island. The remaining 80 % of the production is used in blends.
Nose (22/25): Lightly salted peanuts, hazelnuts, vanilla, caramel, oranges, and a hint of a memory of a whiff of smoke.
Taste (21/25): Fruity and light. Vanilla, light caramel and a tiny pinch of salt.
Finish (21/25): The nuts are back; almonds this time. Caramel and some oak. It has a slight maritime touch, it is a bit briney.
Balance (21/25): A very nice introduction to the gentle, unpeated Islay whisky from Bunnahabhain.
Image from Master of Malt.