Whisky Review – Wemyss – Kirsch Gateau – Bunnahabhain 1988

Wemyss – Kirsch Gateau – Bunnahabhain 1988
Non-Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
Distilled 1988 – bottled 2014 (25/26 year old)
56% ABV
£110.00 where you can find it.

One of the latest outturn of Wemyss’ single cask releases. I couldn’t resist this ones colour and name. Had to be tried. Yummmmm.

Colour.

Beautifully dark mahogany with some red highlights. Slightly darker than the 25 year old OB.

Nose.

Abundant old sherry. Lots of sherry indeed (some would say too much – not me!). Wemyss knows how to name their whiskies. Because there is lots of juicy rum drenched cherries and a chocolatey cake note about this whisky. There is also a touch of banana cake, again, drenched in alcohol. But it’s a subtle alcohol, in fact, tasted blind, I could not recognise this as a 56% ABV. Tonnes of rich, mature fruit, cherries, oranges, plump sultanas, all very very juicy. Christmas cake, this is a super Xmas dram. Light cloves, cinnamon, Xmas spices. Just lovely and juicy, rich and warming. It’s a soulful nose, sniffing forever would be heaven.

Palate.

Sweet, punchy arrival. Loads of juicy intensive dark fruits, cherries right up front, sultanas, a touch of bitter chocolate, lots of fruitcake and spice. It’s lively and an absolutely massive sherry bomb. It’s a sherry nuke. We have a bunch of pepper, hot cinnamon, clove. The mouthfeel is very thick, coating and oily. There is some slight oily nuts, Brazil, wallnuts.

Finish.

Sweet, then drying. Long duration. Lots of chocolate, nuts, Christmas cake and sherried dark fruits. Drying out with some oak tannins and nuts.

Adding water.

A good few drops added. The nose has more chocolate notes, still a fair bit of sherry, but it is more like the official 25 yo bottling at a diluted strength. The palate is juicier, a load of fruit there, again cherry juice well up front and intensive, more chocolate on the palate also, it’s definitely now Kirsch Gateau on the palate. The finish is juicy, clean, bloody, bloody tasty. Last for ages and just demands more sips. It’s a fantastic dram with a touch of water.

Conclusion.

Amazing stuff. It’s very comparable to well matured Glendronach single casks. But with touches of Bunnahabhains trademark banana notes thrown in. A 25/26 year old Bunnahabhain single cask for £110? Bloody bargain. This is selling out quickly. Search and buy if you fancy this. Do, or do not, or it will be gone.

My own stash, from a recent bottle share.

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Whisky Review – Bunnahabhain 25 year old

Bunnahabhain 25 year old
Non-Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
Un-peated
46.3% ABV
£218.00 from Master of Malt

The premium flagship of the official Bunnhabhain range. Presented in a lovely wooden box, this dram exudes luxury and demands attention. Let’s give it some.

Colour.

Lovely dark mahogany. With a hint of orange.

Nose.

Dusty Cocoa. Loads of chocolate. Chocolate cake, with fresh cream on top. Some slightly underripe banana. Sweet sticky sherry. Coffee mocha. Plums. Sultanas. Gentle christmas spices. Touches of aniseed. Hints of wood char. Lovely, well constructed nose. Time in the glass gives more sherry. Still a very intensive chocolatey malt experience.

Palate.

The arrival is very sweet honey with dusty dark chocolate. The texture is lovely and smoothly silk like. Development continues into sweet chocolate bar territory. Caramel, brown sugar, Milky Way bars, a touch of chocolate covered bananas, mixed fruit, and then late in the development there is a touch of nuttiness. It’s a very intense palate, the likes of which I’ve not experienced as of yet. Dreamy.

Finish.

The finish is drying, nutty, a little chocolate with some oak. Dark roasted coffee grinds. Continuing to a drying oak finale.

Adding water.

A tiny drop added. On the nose the chocolate has got milkier. There is some fresh bread mix notes now. Malty, with some bakers yeast. The palate is fruitier, more sherried dark fruits and berries now there is still some coffee and mocha, but is tonned down by some integrated fruits and malt. The finish is both sweet and dry, slightly longer, with dusty chocolate, honey and a touch of oak.

Conclusion.

A beautifully constructed official bottling. Having tried several Bunnahabhains I have to say, and with little surprise, this is my favourite of the official bottlings. It’s a pricy bottle, but the quality is most definitely there. When I want to seriously treat myself, should I ever afford it, this is high on my list of options. Glorious stuff.

My own stash, from a bottle share with friends a while back.

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