Whisky Review – Bunnahabhain 12 year old

Bunnahabhain 12 year old
46.3% ABV
Non-chill Filtered
No added colouring
£32.60 from TheGreenWellyStop

My first entry into distillery bottlings of Bunnahabhain. I’ve briefly tried them at Whisky shows before and always enjoyed the experience, but always after quite a few, so it’s nice to finally kick back with a proper dram and time.

Nose.

Rich. Heather honey. Sweet sticky toffee pudding. Gooey. Really gooey! Vanilla. Cinnamon. Light white pepper. Cake mix. It smells jam packed (and of jam) with calories! My sweet tooth is tingling. Boiled sweetened apple and pear pie filling. After some time in the glass there is just the tiniest inkling of something smokey in the background. Burnt fruit! Possibly a tad of sweet cider brandy in the background.

Palate.

Hmmmmm…mmmmm…mmmmmmmm…all of the aromas transfer to the palate, and the higher ABV doesn’t really present itself in a burning way, the mouthfeel is fulfilling, oily and creamy. The vanillas are creamy, the fruits are jammy and the honey sweetness is rich and magnificent. It’s well balanced and just damn brilliant.
I can taste some sherry dark fruitcake stuff going on in the background as well.

Finish.

Fruity jamminess, heather honey, hugging warmth, with a little drying oak.

Adding water.

It doesn’t need water. But with a drop. The nose has lost a little intensity, is more floral and has a little more charred smoke. The palate again, lost more than gained, still very sweet and moreish, but the richness has weakened, a few more sherry notes, but at the expense of the jam and honey thickness of the undiluted. The finish is a little drier. One not to water in my opinion.

Conclusion.

It’s definitely a sweet tooths kind of dram, if you want minerals and smoke and savoury, I don’t find much of that here. This is a total session dram, one to unwind with and savour at the same time. Quality stuff.

20140411-211325.jpg

Whisky Review – Ardbeg Auriverdes

Ardbeg Auriverdes
49.9% ABV
Non-chill Filtered
No added colouring
Ardbeg Day special release
£79.99 from MasterOfMalt

Ardbeg Auriverdes is the new Ardbeg Day special limited release for 2014. Auri(Gold)verdes(Green) is a name used to refer to Brazil’s sports teams (including the football team, of course), but in this case it refers to the golden whisky and the iconic Ardbeg green bottle it dwells within. Which is convenient that it’s the World Cup this year, but being not particularly the greatest football fan, it means little to me. The Whisky inside the bottle, well that means more, let’s sniff and sip.

The maturation of this particular Whisky is acheived in American oak casks with heavily charred lids. The effect of which is said to give a mocha coffee flavour effect. Knowing that information I will probably search for such flavour but will try and stay objective!

Nose.

Distinctively Ardbeg. Rich vanilla, light smoke, earthy and hay. The smoke is more leafy bonfire than medicinal peat for me. Quite sweet overall with some meatier savoury background notes. With more intense nosing quite ashy, some brine and tar going on. A touch of stewed apples and berries deep in the background. Brambles. With time in the glass and a cover on, there’s more wet grass and smouldering bonfire. Something chocolate, salted caramel chocolates.

Palate.

That oily, substantial Ardbeg mouthfeel is ever present. Creamy vanilla, sweet peat, some pepper spice. The higher ABV doesn’t bite, it nibbles. Some chewy toffee and honey. Definitely some milk chocolate going on. And some saltiness.

Finish.

Long. Sweetie peatie. Chocolate, vanilla, spicy oak, salt. Then drying out with a touch of cocoa. The dryness stays for ever with a touch of hay.

Adding water.

Small drop in half a dram. The diluted nose has a little flowering bud to add with the brambles now. The palate, now with a little less spicy nibble exudes with jammy fruit flavours, before the chewy vanilla toffee reasserts itself in the development with more intensity. The finish, still long and drying has a hint more chocolatey-ness. A small drop of water gives this dram a lot more depth and increases the enjoyment considerably in my opinion.

Conclusion.

It’s a good solid, tasty dram. Most definitely Ardbeg, with a nice twist to the normal. Easy drinking and very enjoyable indeed.

Massive thanks to Ardbeg for providing a sample.

20140411-211150.jpg