With us about to enter July and apparently “summer” what would be a better time to start a fortnight long run of Bunnahabhain to start a month long piece on Islay? Literally any other time would be the answer but as is becoming a habit I have lots on my mind with that Island. I can’t say I was particularly bothered about when my next time over would be until the ferries started checking residential status and well you know how it is..
One of my first pieces was on the standard 18 year old before it got too expensive but I havent’t spoken of the younger 12 year old up til now. The 12 year old is currently selling at only 30 pounds on Amazon which means the time is right to revisit this stable. My previous experiences have been with the older packaging so this is a first time for me since the rebrand although it is meant to have only been a packaging change and not a change of product.
The first thing to mention is what all these blogs will say but it is important to point out for new comers. Bunnahabhain and Deanston are both owned by the same company and from around 2010 the quality took a conscious jump up. Chill-filtering was out, bottling strength was up and artificial food colouring was I don’t know used to make rock or something. Both brands have done well from this strategy and the most important thing was the prices have mostly stayed affordable.
Bunnahabhain produces peated and unpeated whisky although I think the peated production is on a general downward trajectory. The general house style of the core range is based on the unpeated stocks and this 12 year old sticks to entirely unpeated whisky. As it happens I really like the peated stuff so check out the next article for some of that.
Colour – golden orange
Nose – earthy initially but also strongly chocolate orange and vanilla ice-cream
Palate – thick texture and strongly honeyed with more vanilla
Finish – long finish with a lot of oak spices with almost a whiff of wood smoke or charring.
At 30 pounds you cannot go wrong really. Is there a lot of competition at this price point? Yeh loads but while there is stuff equally as good you still have to include this in your cabinet as well.