Single malt whisky - tasting notes

08 Jan 2013

Bunnahabhain 1976 (Whisky Mercenary)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Bunnahabhain

One of the first (if not the first?) releases by The Whisky Mercenary, a Bunnahabhain 1976. While Jürgen’s label was relatively unknown until recently, his bottles are now available in a selection of stores in Belgium.


Bunnahabhain 1976 - The Whisky MercenaryBunnahabhain 35 yo 1976
(48,8%, The Whisky Mercenary 2012, 80 btl.)

Nose: a most elegant style of Bunna, showing fresh fruits (apples first) and soft herbs (mint, thyme). The fruits slowly grow warmer and more exotic (banana, kiwi, gooseberries). There’s also a subtle pastry-like edge (buttered dough, marzipan). And balanced salty / flinty notes too. Subtlety is the keyword here. Mouth: a distinctive palate, citrusy at first (oranges, grapefruit), then warmer and oakier. Mint, cloves, a little pepper. Drying green tea and grasses. A bit of a Sancerre style malt. Finish: drier and slightly bitter, with lemon, salt and a soft aspirin effect. Still a graceful end though.

A great example of Bunnahabhain’s capability to age well, especially in not-too-active sherry casks. The result is subtle, complex and very drinkable whisky. Around € 150, still available.

Score: 90/100

Bunnahabhain 1976 (Whisky Mercenary) 4 Ruben Luyten 2013-01-08
  • Marc Castermans

    Jürgens first release was a Bowmore Ruben but that was sold quickly and I even doubt if it ever made it to a shop. I totally agree with your notes. It’s a mighty fine dram.

  • Lukas

    I wonder wheter this is from the same cask as this one:

    Looking at the tasting notes, the number of bottles and the quality this seems very probable. Does anybody know, whether Jürgen got his bottles from Carsten/The Whisky Agency?

  • WhiskyNotes

    I have no idea, and I’m not even sure Jürgen knows where the rest of his cask went to. But given the number of bottles it is quite certain that it was a split cask. By the way there have been similar bottlings by Villa Konthor and The Whisky Cask as well, all with the same strength.



December 2014
« Nov    

  • SK: And just to prove a point, all of the bottles are still available in places where they usually run out. Lets see how many will be still available whe
  • SK: 2 years ago I tried the Caol Ila 1982 from Archives. What a fantastic whisky. Since then I always try to stock these Caol Ila from the 80s. Sadly no
  • WhiskyNotes: The real problem is that Caol Ila isn't selling (mature) casks to independent bottlers any more, from what I've heard, so chances are low we'll see mo

Coming up

  • Inchgower 1975 (Maltbarn)
  • Octomore 6.3 258ppm
  • Peated Irish 1991 (Eiling Lim)
  • Ardbeg 1974 for Christmas
  • Spirit of Freedom 30 Years
  • Elements of Islay Cl7
  • Benromach 5 Year Old

1680 notes by Ruben

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