February and March saw two sets of single cask releases from Wemyss Malts, a bumper crop which includes two bottlings at cask strength. Click here to see information about the bottings
“Kirsch Gateau” 1988 single cask from Bunnahabhain Distilery, Islay, Cask Strength
“Cacao Geyser” 1998 single cask from Bowmore Distillery, Islay
“Snuffed Candle” 1999 singe cask from Aberfeldy Distillery, Highlands
“Dark Treacle Fondant” 2002 single cask from Craigellachie Distillery, Speyside
“Honeysuckle Bower” 1995 single cask from Linkwood Distillery, Speyside
“Caribbean Crème” 1988 single cask from Invergordon Distillery, grain
“The Rockpool” 1995 single cask from Bowmore Distilery, Islay, Cask Strength
“Foraged Fruit Fool” 1991 single cask from Blair Athol Distillery, Highlands
“Toffee Tuile” 1999 singe cask from Aberfeldy Distillery, Highlands
“Kumquat Cluster” 1993 single cask from Glenrothes Distillery, Speyside
“Stem Ginger Preserve” 1995 single cask from Mortlach Distillery, Speyside
“Rhubarb Royale” 2001 single cask from Benrinnes Distillery, Speyside
I’ve been lucky enough to able to review six of the recent releases, so without further ado, let’s take a look at my thoughts…
‘Smoky Mist’ descends… Bunnahabhain Introduces Limited Release Ceòbanach
Regulars will know I’m a big fan of Bunnahabhain, I always have been… Bunna 12yo was one of the drams that started me on my journey. Therefore imagine my excitement to get hold of an official sample of Bunnas latest release, Ceòbanach. Below you’ll find my notes and thoughts, but first let’s take a look at the official PR…
(For my reviews, please read on…)
For those of you that follow Wemyss Malts you’ll know that they release various bottlings a few times a year, and the most recent summer releases include some real beauties including a single grain single cask whisky for the first time and the most valuable whisky Wemyss has ever released – a 31 year old single cask from Bowmore distillery.
Bunnahabhain – 26yo – (IB) Lady of the Glen – 50.01%
Lady of The Glen’s first Islay release. Distilled on the 16th November 1987 and aged in a single refill American Bourbon cask, number 2470. It has been bottled at cask strength and there has been no colourings added – this is non-chill filtered. The cask yielded 205 bottles.
Colour: Light golden.
Nose: Slight alcoholic nip at first. Hint of peat alongside banoffee pie, that’s toffee and banana cake if you didn’t know. A slight coal kind of tar, from the cask no doubt with a nice oak background. Some time for this to open up works really well.
Bunnahabhain – ‘The Bosun’s Dram’ 1997/2013 (16yo) – Wemyss Malts – 46%
Wemyss released five new single casks in April ’14, for details head here. However, on to the review of one of those releases!
Colour: Full golden.
Nose: Earthy and slightly salty yet there’s a gentle peat smoke with malty hay tones.
Palate: Earthy salty peat! Pinch of spices and some crushed late summer berries.
Bunnahabhain 25yo OB 46.3%
So I was recently chatting with someone who suggested I should review more main stream bottlings that are bottled by the distilleries, rather than ultra expensive malts that are either limited release, or other malts bottled by independent bottlers. So with that in mind I’m starting with this Bunna 25… it’s a distillery bottled whisky, and although it’s right at the top end of the range and probably not entirely affordable it’s at least a start!
So on to the review…
Continuing my look at Wemyss Malts pre-Christmas releases, today I’m reviewing…
Seaweed on the Rocks (Bunnahabhain) – 1991/22yo – 46%
Colour: Yellow to gold.
Nose: Chinese? It’s sweet, and sour! Costal with just a hint of smoke.
Palate: Spices build fairly fast on the palate backed up by damp leather and oak.
Finish: Very subtle but long with the return of slight costal notes and polished oak.
Thoughts: I love a drop of Bunna, and this one doesn’t disappoint me at all! 86.
Available: Sorry, you’ll have to Google this for yourself!
Wemyss is pronounced ‘Weems’ and comes from the Gaelic word for caves. They’re a well respected independent whisky bottler, and soon to be distillery owner with Kingsbarns Distillery in the building (as I write this).
I’ve been lucky enough to review three Wemyss Malts releases, a 2001 Bunnahabhain a 1996 Longmorn and a 1982 Inchgower.
Laphroaig – Cairdeas 2013 Port Wood Edition – 51.30%
Let’s call this a dapper golden pink in colour. Laphroaig on the nose, but just slightly restrained, gentle peat and fruit jostling together, not so much tcp. Smooth malty peat, slightly tarry as normal, but with a fruit sweetie nature behind it all. Fresh, sweet but well balanced finish. I really enjoy this, all nicely integrated with the port wood. A well priced session / drinking dram this.
I’ve recently posted a mini series of five reviews of independently bottled Bunnahabhains, all of which have their own charm. Please see individual reviews for tasting notes.
The bottlings featured were:
21yo Oloroso Cask – The Maltman
23yo/1989 – The Rare Casks/Abbey Whisky
23yo/1989 – Master Of Malt
Bn1 – Elements of Islay
10yo – Adelphi