What I find immediately striking is the impression of maturity beyond its years. There is a lovely, well-rounded sherried richness about the nose, full of brioche, fig jam, honey, flower nectars and soft biscuity sweetness. Extremely charming, clean, firm and elegant. Water opens up an easy leafy side with unlit cigars, a little hessian and some gentler cooking oils – still the dominant impression is one of easy charm and elegance.
Here it feels a little more assertive, spicy and jammy up front. The oak spices are slightly more pronounced, and yet also the classic Bunna characteristics of salted nuts, honeys and umami are also present. Mouth-filling, textural and satisfyingly rich. Water broadens the palate, bringing in more leafy notes, more tobacco, more roasted nuts, some praline and a rather salty sherry quality – like a youthful dry oloroso perhaps.
Long, increasingly saline, nervous and perfectly balancing earthy notes, leather, wood spices and a little bodega funk.
A modern sherry cask for sure, but the quality is excellent and overall it pairs very well with the Bunnahabhain distillery character here. Feels like a cask strength version of some 1990s OB 12 year old bottlings at times. A lot of easy drinking pleasure here.