Bunnahabhain 7 year old 58.6%

Standing in the queue at the Bunnahabhain distillery shop during the Feis Ile, afforded me plenty of opportunity to look at the various bottlings on the shelves. The queue was sizeable thanks to an American visitor who was experiencing problems with his credit card, it showed no inclining of speeding up.

My initial purchase was the Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2016 Moine PX bottling as a memento to share with friends. Standing idle for an eternity, speaking with fellow enthusiasts, my gaze passed over the other Feis Ile release a 16 year old Amontillado edition of just 250 bottles. This was too much for my wallet that day as was the forever tempting 25 year old Bunnahabhain. Another popular source of sales it seemed were the dinky 20cl bottling at £30 which were proving a hit. A trio of temptations these offered a range of unusual cask expressions for a Bunnahabhain including an invigorating red wine cask and a 7 year old from a sherry butt that had sold out. Well, it reached that status as I opened up the containers that had become mixed on the shelf in search of a bottle.

Misplaced with a slightly damaged label, this was a poignant find that I've already shared with friends. All it now leaves me to do is actually write up some tasting notes for posterity. Originally this cask I believe would have featured on a special warehouse tour where you had the option to fill from a cask of your choice. Given how busy things were during the Feis Ile the distillery team wisely pre-bottled whiskies from these casks to be sold from the shop floor. As much as I always enjoy filling from the cask, time was of the essence and there was a coach to catch on the first leg of the journey back home.

Distilled: sometime in 2009
Bottled: 24 May 2016
Strength: 58.6% vol
Cask: 2nd fill sherry butt
Additional: natural colour, no chill filtering

Colour: Muscovado sugar
Nose: intense treacle, cinnamon and plump raisins. Dark chocolate flakes and Muscovado sugar intermingle with a black Scottish breakfast tea. A bit of boot polish, cloves and juniper berries. Water has an interesting effect basically condensing all of these layers into a liquidised Christmas cake.
Taste: liquorice is my initial impression a real black oozing sweet richness across the palate. Tar, caramel wafer, decadent dark chocolate and a cinnamon swirl all follow. With water the boastful dram becomes a little more timid and sweeter with cola cubes and Jakemans' cough sweets.

Overall: a robust sherry cask whisky which won't be for everyone but I did kinda enjoy its charms and rugged peaks.

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