Our felonious cousin recently obtained a small sample of single sherry butt, twenty-one year old Bunnahabhain at 52.8%. We could tell you where he got it from, but then we’d have to kill you.
Aussie: Not stolen… Honest…
Freddie: A likely story from the descendant of convicts! I do love a good bit of Bunny though!
Aussie: Got it on a bit of a whim, but Freddie and I are both huge fans of the twelve year old, so forgive us if we draw comparisons here.
Freddie: Rum and raisin on the nose, the standard Bunny smell really!
Aussie: I do get the rum raisin as per the normal sherry casks but I get a wee bit of vanilla and maybe blackcurrant creeping in. Probably some heather as well.
Freddie: [Groans] You’re always saying blackcurrant these days. Is it your next joke, like ‘fresh cut hay’? I’m getting a big hit of molasses, demerara or black treacle.
Aussie: And you critique my palate by gabbing on about three different kinds of sugar?
Freddie: you mean you can’t tell the difference between them all?
Aussie: For me it is like white sugar that has been dissolved a bit in water…Not quite to the extent of forming a treacle or syrup though, but similar…
Freddie: So we’re agreed it’s sugary then?
Aussie: Aye, shut your trap…
Freddie: Very straightforward tastes, exactly like the twelve. Raisins, treacle, butter.
Aussie: There’s the rum and dark sugary flavours. I’m getting a tiny touch of vanilla in there, like Venezuelan rum! It’s very smooth, but I can’t compare it to the twelve. For me the twelve has a bit more of a punch to it. I’m afraid to say, perhaps the twelve is a bit more complex?
Freddie: I’d certainly agree with that. I had an SMWS cask strength twelve-year-old Bunny sherry butt bottling in January and it was essentially a stronger version of the 46% standard job. This is very nice whisky, it’s got that winning Bunnahabhain flavour, but considering it’s had an extra nine years in the cask I’d expect greater intricacy to it. The twelve still does it for me, is easier to find and costs less!
Aussie: If only we hadn’t missed out when litre bottles of the eighteen were available for next to nothing at duty free. You still weep about that in the wee small hours, don’t you Freddie?
Freddie: As if you don’t too Aussie!
An introspective silence briefly descends over the room.
Freddie: Huge hazelnut flavour, with added citrus zest and pepper in the finish. The citrus is probably the only really different note I get to the standard distillery twelve-year-old bottling, and I’m not sure if this balances quite as well because of it. It’s still trademark Bunnahabhain, which is all good as far as I’m concerned!
Aussie: I seriously get a strong taste of blackcurrant, not taking the mickey here, but I also get a tad of bitter coffee grounds in there also. The whisky is very smooth and then warms up the back of your throat. Overall, I find it very pleasant to drink.
Freddie: Agreed. Doesn’t have the smoothness of the Bunnahabhain eighteen, which is a gorgeous whisky, like liquid velvet – All the top notes of the twelve without the pepper in the finish. I’m surprised, as the twenty-five year old is slightly too mellow for me, but this one is right between those ages and a bit more gutsy and therefore I prefer it to the twenty-five!
Aussie: Overall, it is a good whisky, but this might be where I’m a whisky pederast… I often prefer younger whiskies…
Freddie coughs and splutters
Aussie: Not any other applications of the word, you bam…
- F.R. M.H.