It’s always nice to revisit a classic, especially when they’ve had a visual makeover. We head over to Islay for this Bunnahabhain 12 Years.
Bunnahabhain 12 yo (46,3%, OB +/- 2020)
Nose: coastal notes mixed with mulched leaves. Brine and seaweed, a light irony touch, then overripe apples and oranges, with hints of fresh herbs. Some very nutty notes alongside butter toffee – the sherry cask influence is a little musty. Baking spice and hints of glazed chestnuts.
Mouth: still some briney punch, now going hand in hand with blackcurrant jam and a woody note that’s fragrant and bitter at the same time. Cloves. More new oak than before? Very subtle peat smoke, or so it seems. Leathery notes too. Caramel and lots of herbal notes towards the end.
Finish: medium, on spices and grassy oak. Also dark chocolate and walnuts.
I’m not sure what to think. I already picked up more wood a couple of years ago, but the clove and bitterness feels a little out of check here. I’m not a fan of the word “smooth” but yes, this used to be smoother. Check The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt for instance.