Let’s have a few more legendary drams to celebrate the 5th anniversary of this little blog…
Bunnahabhain 1968 ‘Auld Acquaintance’ is probably the most legendary Bunnahabhain ever bottled. It’s a Hogmanay dram, i.e. it was distilled on the 31st of December.
At the time of bottling during the Islay Jazz Festival in 2002, it was the third in a series of limited editions of Bunnahabhain single malt (after a 1965 and 1966), and it cost £ 100.
Bunnahabhain 34 yo 1968
‘Auld Acquaintance’ (43,8%, OB 2002, 2002 btl.)
Nose: very expressive and delicate at the same time. Juicy sherry notes, prunes and raisins mostly. Citrus and red berries. Christmas cake. What makes it special, is the additional layer of wet stones and dusty books, as well as a big amount of waxy notes. Frankly it’s more than waxy, it’s fat and greasy (I’m thinking used Blanc de Boeuf) which works very well. Soft spices (pepper, mint) and a hint of smoke. Some darker notes as well (coffee, cocoa, tar).
Mouth: creamy and mildly sweet again, with a profile that’s much more influenced by herbal notes and spices now. Liquorice roots, herbal teas, a faint salty note and a hint of cough syrup. Mint chocolates. Still some berries but overall less fruity. A bit of a coastal old Macallan, with an excellent balance of sweet / dry / bitter. And a subtle hint of smoke again.
Finish: long, with some dry oak, chocolate, red berries and spices.
A very rich and inspirational Bunnahabhain, maybe the best one ever made. The combination of Bunnahabhain’s relatively gentle Islay profile with this kind of old-style sherry is pretty exceptional. Popping up in auctions once in a while – today’s value seems to be around € 800.