I’m quite surprised with the tempo of the Malts of Scotland team. They release their whisky at a serious pace, and luckily the quality doesn’t seem to suffer.
By the way, Malts of Scotland also released a Glen First Class (sherried Glenfarclas in disguise – € 40) and a Glen Peat Class (blended Islay malt, matured together – € 50). Both are bottled at 50% and positioned as entry malts for people who are not (yet) familiar with the concept of single casks.
Bunnahabhain 17 yo 1992 (54,4%, Malts of Scotland 2010, cask #1419, 603 btl.)
Nose: old, dusty sherry, which reminds me of walking in a wine cellar. The influence of the wine is very heavy but quite clean. Burnt sugar and sweet fruit compote. Walnuts. Some gingerbread notes. Very lightly coastal / seaweedy as well. With water: slightly meaty with faint smoke. But a little less clean now…
Mouth: mouth-coating and quite hot. The ginger notes get stronger. Some nutty notes (walnuts again, some almonds). Getting extremely dry and a little bitter. Water brings out cigar associations (tobacco leaves, cigar boxes) but also takes away most of the intensity. Some oak polish.
Finish: long and really dry. Hints of liquorice.
This malt has some glorious moments but also a few dips. The combo of bitterness and sweetness is nicely balanced but its dry power is a little invading as well. A good choice if you want heavy sherry with more complexity than just the wine.