Bunnahabhain has announced a one-off rare expression, a 40 year-old. Islay whiskies of such age are very rare indeed. The expression is made up of forgotten casks recently “discovered” in the warehouses and originally filled for Glasgow spirits merchants J. G. Turney & Son.
Each bottle has a nicely designed label, printed on a kind of copper leaf, and is presented in an oak gift box containing a secret compartment that reveals hidden designs replicating the ‘Journey of Discovery’. 750 bottles will be made available, individually numbered and hand signed.
Bunnahabhain 40 yo (41,7%, OB 2012, 750 btl.)
Nose: very complex nose, with some of the late 1960’s fruits (orange, banana, tangerine) as well as soft vanilla and nougat with hazelnuts. Very soft coastal notes as well. Beeswax and heather honey. Faint floral notes and something chocolaty. Leather. Smooth and easily attractive if you want it to be, but showing plenty of layers if you dedicate some time to discover them.
Mouth: still surprisingly sweet and rounded. Tropical fruits again (banana, mango, lime and pineapple), as well as some biscuity notes. Then moving towards honey notes. Macadamia nuts and almonds. Ginger. Very little oak.
Finish: long, with a hint of salty liquorice and spices, as well as some nutty notes and oranges.
Of course the age and price set certain expectations, but they are nicely fulfilled. It’s nice to see the typical old Bunnahabhain fruitiness alongside some coastal notes, with virtually no wood. Around € 2500, which makes it a perfect Christmas gift for the oil barons among your relatives.