May 242012

Bunnahabhain 8 y.o. MacPhail’s Collection

43% abv

Score:  78/100


What the hell have we here?  One of the oddest Bunnahabhains I’ve ever encountered, to be sure.  If you told me this was a Lowlander I’d believe you.  If you handed this to me blind and suggested it was an Islay malt, I’d likely look for the men with the butterfly nets.  This in and of itself kinda speaks volumes as to the footprint Bunnahabhain leaves.  The distillery’s reputation is almost a non-reputation.  Shame, really.  Bunna releases some damn fine whiskies.  Especially in recent years under the ownership of Burn Stewart.

Here, of course, we’re not speaking of a Burn Stewart release, but instead of an independent bottling by Gordon & MacPhail.  A freakishly young one at that.  Eight years old and absolutely no pretense of playing ‘grown up’.  I sort of dig it though.  It’s neat to try such a young naked Bunnahabhain.

This one is lively and light.  The oak is still screaming like mad at this age.  Vanilla is skipping along hand in hand, as to be expected from such a young dram still obviously under the influence of a very vocal cask.  Spiced bread dough straight from an old country kitchen.  Rather typical Bunnahabhain pear.  Floral notes, ginger, pepper and cinnamon.  Finally…salt water taffee.

Thin and decidedly lacking any real personality on the palate.  Not bad, but…just not much to speak of.  Oak and tart green fruit.  Again…I would never peg this as a Bunnahabhain.

To be honest…a little too little of anything special going on to really sink your teeth into and love.  But I do rather like it anyway.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 9:43 pm

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