I haven’t been buying as much whisky i used to (apart from paying for the bottling of shares in Casks i have ) But Just last week a i was tempted by a one that appeared on Whiskybroker’s Website . It was a 14yo bottling of a Margadale cask from the same batch as from which came one of my Casks (this one ) , so one was order……
It arrived this very day and quite surprisingly there was another bottle in it , one which i seemed to have ordered in 2016 and somehow both myself andWhiskybroker seemed to have forgot about ! Well i definitely forgot about it…….
(Click on photo to see full size)
I have to say i’m very fond of aged Bunnahabhain so couldn’t wait to open the 23yo and it didn’t disappoint ! At a Natural Cask Strength of 46.3% (Weird Eh ?) , The nose is a typical Bunna quite sweet (confectioners sugar) , Vanilla , honey and toffee . It is a very easy nose to delve into , probably the lowish ABV , The palate is as smooth as a babies bum , really velvety across the tongue , Again with a lovely sweetness , honey and toffee , the finish is long and sweet with a slight spiciness . Wow ! What A lovely Bunnahabhain and a veritable bargain at (in 2016) £66.50 for a 23yo , especially considering the 25yo O.b. (also at 46.3%…..) goes for nearly 5 times that !
4 years on……..
A brief history….. Back in the time before the Whisky world exploded with stupidity and when the late great John Maclellan was still manager of Bunnahabhain , the distillery tinkered with peated malt , a few got to know about it through John’s Legendary Feis Ile Warehouse Tours The ‘Moine’ only saw light through a Feis Ile Bottling or two , oh and one of Tescos ’10yo Islay’ Releases……. and an un-named indy Islay release….. Unknown to us meer mortals casks had also been sold to other whisky producers , move on a few years to about 2010 when another whisky legend Oul Fella and then owner of Bladnoch Raymondo Armstrong while purchasing casks to sell on the Bladnoch forum came upon some ‘Margadale’ A.K.A. Peated Bunnahabhain and decided to let us lesser human beings buy shares in said casks . I got a share in No.70 . Without going into too much details things took a slight turn south when the distillery was sold but eventually Raymonds Son Martin came to our assistance and got the casks removed from the distillery and shifted to his wonderful facility at Creetown and bottled them for us through his whisky Company ‘Whiskybroker.co.uk.’ Ours was bottled at 10yo and now this one was done at 14yo . Same whisky , slightly different shaped bottle , nearly the same label design but 4 years on…….
So now the big question , what’s it like ?
Well there’s not that great deal of difference in the colour from cask 75 to cask 70 , There’s no real difference in the ABV either it’s only 1% lower at 58.2% , the nose has the distinct Bunna peatiness (not like any of the other Islays) it is very coastal / Seashorey with a nice whiff of smoke . The first thing that hits you on the palate is a sweetness (like the unpeated original) , then the peat flows , very smooth for a high ABV , again it’s more of a seashore , seaweed / iodine but not as fierce as Laphroaig , the finish is long and quite smoky , the perverbial bonfire on a beach . This would definitely have been the dram to sit outside the Bunnahabhain Cottages watching the sun go down over the Mountains on Mull……. Cask 70 (the 10yo ) is definitely Cask 75’s younger , wilder brother ! It’s an interesting comparison , Wild at heart to smooth and Sophisticated . Glad i got a chance to contrast and compare , the 14yo is a cracking dram !