Whisky Reviews

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old


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I decided, on a whim, to go on a 3 week vacation to Sweden. As you may know from previous posts I have family here and I try to come over every once in a while. After a short road trip I arrived at my final destination – the coastal city of Karlskrona – where I am staying right by the sea. At the moment of writing, the sun is setting in a beautiful spectrum of reds and yellows, the birds (seagulls, I’ll admit) are singing and as ever I find in my hand a trusty drink. Life, in short, is good. Before I continue with the review I feel I should give a word of warning to anyone intending to visit Sweden or indeed Scandinavia – bring your whisky with you! It’s a beautiful place with lots to offer, but cheap or even reasonably priced alcohol is not available. As a point of reference, a standard bottle of Famous Grouse is KR279 about $35.

I only brought one bottle with me this time around, as a gift to my kind hosts, and I decided to go for a Bunnahabhain 12 year old. The reasoning behind this was simply that it is one of their favorite whiskies, oddly enough. I say oddly enough because it isn’t outstanding in any way, and (I sure hope they don’t read this) they are rather, well, snobby! Enough of this nonsense though, and on to the whisky.

As I mentioned before Bunnahabhain is not an amazing whisky as such, in my opinion, but I don’t think anyone could argue against its drinkability. Each sip goes down a treat and leaves you with a smooth feeling on your palate and throat, and a quite nice malty taste. The nose not quite what you would expect from an Islay whisky, while  it is somewhat smoky it is by no means overwhelming, and the main aromas here are warm butter, caramelized nuts and a weak floral note. On the palate you’ll find toasted cereal, floral honey, fresh tobacco and perhaps a touch of ginger – and it has to be said that they all come together splendidly.

The initial aftertaste carries notes of coffee and a tad of smoke, which settles into the above mentioned lingering maltiness. Not in my top 10, but certainly quite enjoyable. It tends to get better with every sip, so I may update this post after a few more drams and stuff it with praise!

Color: Dry hay.

Nose: Somewhat smoky, warm butter, caramelized nuts and perhaps a floral undertone.

Palate:  Toasted cereal, floral honey, fresh tobacco and a touch of ginger in beautiful harmony.

Want to buy this whisky? Available in: USA & World (click)UK & Europe (click)

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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