Single malt whisky - tasting notes

21 Apr 2009

Bunnahabhain 1973 (Whisky Agency)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain 35yo 1973 - Whisky AgencyThe oldest Bunnahabhain in this series, a 35 year-old, matured in refill sherry wood.

 

Bunnahabhain 35y 1973 (50,1%, The Whisky Agency 2008, Shark series, 509 btl.)

Nose: oh boy. While there are certainly nice aspects to this dram, like the sherry sweetness and notes of raisins and honey, I’m afraid I can’t get over the dirty notes. It smells like cooked cabbage, wet forest and mushrooms. Now I love mushrooms, but this is rather unpleasant. The thing is, once you notice it, it’s really hard to appreciate other flavours, because it doesn’t even disappear after 30 minutes in the glass. Mouth: better, starting sweet with floral notes and honey. But still a background of mushrooms. Growing more bitter towards the end. Finish: notes of tonic, like in the Bunnahabhain 1976, and some rubber as well.

I think this was good spirit matured in a less than perfect sherry butt. Second and third fill sherry casks are more prone to sulphur treatment, could that be the reason? Not my kinda dram anyway. Around € 175.

Score: 75/100

ps/ Serge at Whiskyfun seems to like it, even with the dirty notes.

Bunnahabhain 1973 (Whisky Agency) 2 Ruben Luyten 2009-04-21
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  • johan brugge

    Hey Ruben. Hier zijn mijn bevindingen van deze whisky.

    Nose:
    First thing I noticed when I opened the bottle were big sherry and walnuts flavours. Very strong sherry even. After 10-12 minutes breathing there is much more going on. More peat notes, soft fruity notes. Not a lot of oak even though it’s a 35yo whisky.

    Mouth:
    Salty, a faint flavour of citrus that slightly reminds me of an older Caol Ila. It’s a bit peppery on the tongue. The sherry is still there but not as prominent as in the nose. Amazingly it’s hard to find oaky influences. There is a bit more smoke and just of touch of peat.
    With water it becomes really delicious! Lots of fresh fruit, sherry notes, peat, smoke all in perfect balance. No more pepper on my tongue but loads of soft flavours.

    Finish:
    Long, kind of sweet. It sticks to my mouth and cheeks. With water it’s even longer. I’m glad I opened this baby! I shall enjoy this one a lot.

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  • Tony: I wonder if the rest of the cask is the TWE 1981 just released with no cask number (and a similar though not identical strength)...
  • john marrinan: That is true, but to all intents and purposes a score of 87 is the same as a score of 90. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the maniacs scored it the
  • WhiskyNotes: It's not so much a matter of trusting a score as it is a matter of being able to relate to it.

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1734 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.