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.



November 2014
« Oct    

  • WhiskyNotes: You're right, it is a refill bourbon cask. Sorry if I suggested otherwise, but I believe a single cask can never be 80% sherry and 20% bourbon like th
  • Tabrulavubeg: I've tried the 18yo Single Cask yesterday. It's really quite good, but from Ruben's conclusion "an exquisite version of this already really good dram"
  • Johan Andersson: Yes this cask is really fantastic. If you did the Cadenhead Warehouse tasting with Grant MacPherson in Campbeltown 2013 and until Open Day in May 2014

Coming up

  • Master of Malt Firecrackers
  • Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo
  • Kavalan bourbon cask for Belgium
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
  • Port Askaig 19 Year Old
  • Bladnoch 1992 (The Nectar)
  • Ledaig 2005 (Maltbarn)

1664 notes by Ruben

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