Bunnahabhain 18 Year
Age: 18 Years
Recipe: 100% malted barley, aged in ex-sherry casks
Price Paid (MSRP): $165 ($165)
Nose: Opens with ocean salt and fruits: strawberry, grape, and blueberry. There’s a pleasant musty oak smell, earthy moss, honey, almonds, and faint orange zest.
Palate: Medium to thick mouthfeel and jammy with strawberries, cherries, and more grapes. Cinnamon and nutmeg baking spices give it a lively feel. Salted chocolate, cocoa, earth, and a drying, slightly bitter, oak round out the palate.
Finish: Medium to long length, earthy, nutty, salted fruits, and white pepper spice. Moderately drying with a surprising amount of oak and some bitterness.
Rating: 87/100 – Excellent | Really quite exceptional
Absolutely delicious and a big step up from the 12 year. There’s a lot more oak in the 18, as expected, but the sherry influence is quite intense as well. It’s definitely one of the more lively palates that I’ve experienced in a scotch at this age. The signature Bunnahabhain salinity is preserved, but much more subtle here. It’s unfortunate that I pick up so much bitterness on the finish or this might be scored in the 90s. Still, it’s a wonderful dram that takes the conventional idea of an unpeated sherry bomb and heads in a delightfully fresh direction.