The Bunnahabhain 11 year old is one of Gordon and MacPhail’s brand new ‘Discovery’ range. Each expression in this range is aged to highlight a particular flavour profile – Sherry, Smokey or Bourbon. This months Bunnahabhain pays homage to ‘Sherry’ with an 11 year old non-peated whisky from Islay (and I must say – it feels a little weird to write that).
This whisky is exactly what it sets out to be – a fantastic sherry flavour profile. The nose is sweet with stewed fruit, jam, toffee and raisins. The palate is a luscious blend of plum pudding, chocolate, and fruit-mince with feint wafts of salty kelp (iodine) floating around the edges in keeping with it’s maritime aging location. Finish is smooth, rich and chewy with a spice on the back of the tongue that builds to offset the fruity sweetness nicely.
Islay is renowned for its heavily peated whiskies. Some say as a general rule, the further south they are the heavier the peat smoke. I’m not convinced this is actually true – but if it is, Bunnahabhain certainly sets the tone being both the most northerly Islay distillery but also being renowned as the only Islay distillery who specialises in non-peated whisky. In fact, this months malt of the month is from our old friends Gordon and MacPhail has been specifically bottled and aged to showcase a ‘Bold, Sherry profile’. There is NO peat in this Islay.