|Whisky galore at Bunnahabhain.|
|Bunnahabhain whisky with Iain Burnett chocolates.|
It's a bit cruel to dwell on the tasting, but here's a rundown in any event.
Bunnahabhain 12 year oldWith a drop of water, this was brilliant with a lemongrass praline. For me, the B12 displays lemon, hazelnuts, honey and a bit of perfume on the nose; with an oily mouthfeel, and gentle fruit and cloves on the palate. The alcohol dominated a wee bit with the chocolate, but a droplet of water did the trick.
Bunnahabhain 18 year oldI'm a big fan, even without chocolates, but this was pretty divine with a dark chocolate, orange and clove truffle. The B18 is rich and smooth, with orange, dried fruits and toffee from nose to tail. All of our tasting companions were equally impressed.
|Everyone's a new friend at a tasting.|
Bunnahabhain 25 year oldWhen my dessert island stranded time arrives, (misspelling intended) let this one be in the box! Beautiful, elegant, plump dried fruits, the best vanilla pods, soft and smooth, so balanced and perfect that tasting notes can only underestimate the delight of this dram. Kirstie had paired this with pistachios and almonds on dark chocolate. My handwritten notes show a smiley face. I guess I liked this.
Dram an StiureadairIn keeping with the nautical theme of the day, the name means The Helmsman's Dram. (See below for the full name with accents). Many of Bunnahabhain's bottlings are at a generous 46.3% alcohol by volume, but this one is a robust 56.7%ABV. It's a peated dram, with no age expression, although it appears about 10 years old, with most of that time in Bourbon casks, and some final time in Marsala casks. Unlike other Islay distilleries, many of Bunnahabhain's whiskies are unpeated, and seem to do very well in that configuration. The process of changing production from unpeated to peated whiskies, or vice versa, is a big task for a distillery, but well worthwhile in the quest for a wide range of products. Bunnahabhain makes peated whiskies about 4 weeks of the year, some of which finds its way to Duty Free stores.
|I did not win this|
Earlier in the day, Kirstie started off proceedings with a nosing test. Nine aromatic bottles had to be matched up with their corresponding descriptions - peat smoke, nuts, vanilla, oak, malt, sherry, spice, fruit and Bunnahabhain. This was a lot of fun, a good way to meet other table guests, but not a walk in the park by any means. Isn't the nose a marvelous thing!
|I'll go out on a limb here and say that these are the best oysters in the world.|
|View across the Sound of Islay|
The 12 year old was served with Pork Cheek and Onions. The pork was infused with caramelized, sweet onions, topped with a ring of pickled shallot with sugar and served on a brown malted flour biscuit. Yum!
|Not a frozen appetizer.|
|Not your average cheeseburger|
What a speculator day! And we only grazed the surface of all the events on offer. Distillery Manager, Andrew Brown, is the best possible host and, no doubt helped by a small army of equally passionate folks, he put on a proper party! Here's another of my Bunnahabhain stories from a previous visit.
GrapeScot Islay Whisky Tour August 2015My next trip to Bunnahabhain will be in August 2015. You can join me, and a small tour group, on this whisky adventure to my favourite Scottish Hebridean Island. Drop me a line and I'll send you the itinerary and details.
My next post will be about Lagavulin. Check back soon or, better still, sign up above for email updates. You'll only receive an email when a new story is posted.