This is a 25 year Bunnahabhain that was matured in an ex-bourbon cask and bottled at 50.7% ABV.
Nose: Malty with slightly smoke tinged oak, muddled pineapple, some almond extract, and minor farm notes.
Palate: Almond biscotti, orange rind, peppery, some harsh/biting oak, and an earthy element to the malt.
Finish: Mostly oak lingering with some hints of vanilla and fresh grains.
Rating: 85/100 – Not overly exciting, but a solid older Bunnahabhain.
Value for the money: K&L had these for $150 before they sold out, and I think that’s a pretty fair price. I wouldn’t pay anything over that though if these are sold on secondary/auction.
This is a 21 year Bunnahabhain that was matured in ex-bourbon casks and bottled at 52.3% ABV.
Nose: Salty, wet clay with mossy oak, lightly smoked meats, vanilla, floral notes, and beeswax.
Palate: Nice blend of salt and pepper with a myriad of spices (predominantly cumin), old oak, pipe tobacco, and under-ripe/green strawberries.
Finish: Oak with dried herbs topped with fresh earth.
Rating: 83/100 – A fairly typical Bunnahabhain – perhaps a little on the earthier side compared to normal.
Value for the money: Looks like this goes somewhere between $180-220, and I’d probably pass at that price. I think the Bunnahabhain 18 at a typical retail of $99 is hard to compete against.
This is a 26 year Bunnahabhain that was matured in a refill butt before being bottled at 55.6% ABV.
Nose: Sherry comes through cleanly but with a mild profile – ripe bananas, subtle raisin with some wet clay, tobacco, and musty books.
Palate: Sherry much richer here with spiced apples, toffee, rooibos tea, chocolate with some spicy peppers incorporated.
Finish: Bitter cocoa, banana chips, spiced oak, sherry influence strikes me more as a tawny port here.
Rating: 89/100 – A very nice older Bunnahabhain with an interesting sherry profile.
Value for the money: Guessing this retailed originally for $150-$175 or so, and I’d gladly pay that for a bottle.
This is the 18 year OB expression from Bunnahabahin that’s a mix of ex-bourbon/sherry casks and bottled at 46.3% ABV.
Nose: Very heavy sherry with macerated grapeskins, damp sawdust, banana bread, and toffee notes.
Palate: Surprisingly the oak is quite dominant here turning it bitter and relatively dry – grape juice, tobacco, and cocoa powder round out the profile.
Finish: Mostly muddled sherry and oak – dry and short overall.
Rating: 84/100 – Not quite as good as the OB 25 year, and it somehow tastes older to me with the dominant oak palate oddly enough.
Value for the money: This is where it shows up the 25 year in that it’s almost as good, but it’s $200+ cheaper. I usually see this around $99, and I think that’s a pretty fair price.
This is the newer 25 year expression from Bunnahabhain that’s non-chill filtered and bottled at 46.3% ABV (up from 43%).
Nose: Very thick sherry with heavy brown sugar and raisins – floor polish, old rubber balls, wet slate, and lemon zest.
Palate: Smoky malt with tons of sherry again – bitter cocoa, musty oak, and brown sugar. I figured some peat would come through, but as far as I can tell so far, there is zero peat involved with this expression based on nose/palate.
Finish: Astringent oak with dry sherry and a hint of chocolate.
Rating: 85/100 – Good, but tame – glad they raised the proof from the old release, but would love to try this at cask strength.
Value for the money: These vary quite a bit, but I see them around $300 retail frequently, and it’s an easy pass at that price. I wouldn’t pay more than $150 for a bottle.
This is an 11 year Bunnahabhain from Feis Ile 2015 that was matured in a Manzanilla sherry cask and bottled at 57.4% ABV.
Nose: Beach ball plastic (thanks Arnab), heavy earth/vegetal notes as I typically find in Manzanilla casks, barbecue meats
Palate: Sherry more on the sulphury side here with extinguished matchheads, raisins, pepper, and a bit more new plastic notes.
Finish: Dries out a bit with burnt rubber and sulphury sherry as the vegetal notes fade into the background.
Rating: 80/100 – I typically am not crazy about Manzanilla maturation/finishes, but this one was fairly interesting.
Value for the money: I think these go for around £150 or so, and I would pass at that price.
This is a 33 year Bunnahabhain that was matured in a sherry butt and bottled at 45.6% ABV.
Nose: Cinnamon candies with a heavily spiced sherry. Powerful oak topped with sour cherries. Fairly closed off overall for something that should be so rich after maturing in a sherry butt so long.
Palate: Muted sherry with heavy clay and fresh earth notes. Musty oak is quite subtle despite age – still finding this one slightly dull overall.
Finish: Sour oak lingers as the sherry notes fall off quickly.
Rating: 81/100 – This sherry butt must have been either on its last legs as a refill cask or just a bad cask to begin with. This isn’t a bad dram, but for being sherry matured for 33 years, I find it quite lackluster.
Value for the money: I bought into a bottle split at about a $300 bottle valuation, and I wouldn’t pay that for a bottle. I think this should be sub $200.
This is a heavily peated NAS expression from Bunnahabhain that was matured in ex-bourbon casks and bottled at 46.3% ABV.
Nose: Very peat forward with vanilla, overripe bananas, decaying leaves, and a bit of grapefruit.
Palate: Peat is very strong with burnt rubber, and old oak – quite ashy overall.
Finish: Peat and ashes linger with a hint of fudge.
Rating: 83/100 – Interesting to try such a heavily peated Bunnahabhain, but it’s a bit one dimensional.
Value for the money: I believe this retails around $75, and I would personally pass at that price.
This is a 20 year Bunnahabhain matured in sherry casks and bottled by A.D. Rattray at 53% ABV.
Nose: Dark sherry and mulled spices, peat present but just barely – masked nicely by the sherry with some honey and cloves.
Palate: Rich sherry and tobacco with a very earthy oak profile. Subtle floral notes tucked in the gentle peat folds. Comes off quite hot for 53%.
Finish: Nutty malt peeking out behind the sherry cutrain with currants, almonds, and a dry oak.
Rating: 88/100 – I’m really beginning to enjoy these independent Bunnahabhains – especially the sherried ones. Will have to seek more out…
Value for the money: I think this retailed around $150 which is a pretty fair price overall. Would maybe like to see it closer to $120 or so, but it’s not too overpriced.
This is a 26 year Bunnahabhain bottled by Berry’s at 49.8% ABV.
Nose: Massive banana runt notes – like sickly sweet bananas. Playdough, black cherry, and menthol.
Palate: Nice peat up front which was cleverly disguised on the nose. Fruits move to the background as soil and iodine notes arive.
Finish: Clay, minerals, and butterscotch.
Rating: 87/100 – One of the weirder Bunnahabhain’s I’ve had – nice to have an unpredictable malt from time to time.
Value for the money: This goes around $140 or so retail which I think is a fair price.