As much as a’bunadh has changed over the years (and not necessarily for the better), I can’t find it in myself to walk away from it. The whisky is still bold and singular. It’s still ticking all the boxes of proper whisky presentation (excepting our beloved age statement). And it’s still priced fairly.
Wait…nope. Forget that last. Canucks have been complaining about being taken to the cleaners for a bottle of this stuff for a couple of years now (an increase from $70 to $130?! C’mon!), but it seems we’re about to have some compatriots in our struggles. This feisty young NAS malt has jumped from the sub £50 mark to £80 in the overseas markets as well now! What.The.Actual.Fuck.
Not only are we subjected to a sherry “seasoned” casks nowadays in lieu of proper sherry butts, but we’re expected to pay almost double for this inferior degree of barrel influence? The industry has long told us about how expensive butts are (about ten times the price of bourbon barrels is the going narrative) as a justification for the price of sherried malts. So, what’s the rationale now, big biz? Hmmmm.
Anyway. Decent malt, this, if now more on the savoury side of the sherry spectrum than the jammy, fruit-driven side. I’ll drink it, but I won’t buy it anymore.
N: This malt seems to get more spicy and savoury, and less fruity every time I try it. Huge notes of mince pie and rum-sodden Christmas cake replete with marzipan topping. A little bit of cask char. Some in-the-shell peanuts. Just a hint of stewed tomato. Some dry grain.
P: Oh yes. Great arrival. Deep spice and very jammy here (in spite of the lack of similar characteristics on the nose). Viscous and almost syrup-thick. Mixed berry filling in chocolate cake. Orange jam. Almost hints of rye spice. A lingering flavour of balloons (odd, I know). Heavy sherry all the way through. Quite decent, if not the best batch.
T: Better palate than nose.
– Image & words: Curt