Single malt whisky - tasting notes

05 Oct 2011

Bunnahabhain 1973 (Malts of Scotland)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Bunnahabhain

This Bunnahabhain 1973 was bottled by Malts of Scotland in May 2011 but it didn’t arrive in stores until the summer. It already won a silver medal in the 7th edition of the Independent Bottlers Challenge by Whisky Magazine.

 

Bunnahabhain 1973 Malts of ScotlandBunnahabhain 38 yo 1973
(50,2%, Malts of Scotland 2011,
sherry butt #3463, 216 btl.)

Nose: starts a little dirty, with lots of mushrooms, damp forest notes and a little cooked cabbage. Similar to the Bunnahabhain 1973 (Shark series) by Whisky Agency. Some caramel and beurre noisette. The whole reminds me of certain pre-war blends. After plenty of breathing, it shows sweeter fruity notes and some chamomile. Mouth: sweet and caramelly. Apples and honey. Toffee. Then it turns to yeasty and softly bitter notes (Triple beer?). A veil of smoke. Hints of oranges. Round oak and soft spices. Finish: long, sweet and rather herbal with more than a hint of rubber.

I always find it difficult to score a dram like this. Do I focus on the nose during the first half an hour (not very good) or do I give points for the profile after a while, which is much better? A mixed bag in my opinion – but I seem to appreciate it less than others. The palate is quite unique and pleasant though, just remember that you’ll need to get over the unfresh elements of the nose to get there. Airing is the key. Around € 170.

Score: 80/100

Bunnahabhain 1973 (Malts of Scotland) 2.5 Ruben Luyten 2011-10-05
  • http://onversneden.com/2010/05/01/glen-scotia-1992-malts-of-scotland/ Johan

    Ruben,

    this is indeed a whisky that I liked better than you. It reminded me vaguely of old (1960’s) Campbeltown whisky. It also has a bit of that old profile that you can encounter in pre-1960 distillations. Special for sure.

    Johan

  • http://www.facebook.com/slowdrink Peter Krause

    Usually we kind of are in the same corridor, but I am 9-10 points higher with this one. Long live individual taste!

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

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  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
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  • Fettercairn Fior
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1600 notes by Ruben

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