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 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.